A young Farmer's path to glory in Tasman Young Farmer of the Year regionals

A young Farmer's path to glory in Tasman Young Farmer of the Year regionals

The regional finals of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest roll on and George Dodson was recently crowned the winner of the Tasman region. The 22-year-old has a deep-rooted family history in farming and joins Dom George to discuss his experience and challenges faced during the contest. 

Despite being primarily a dairy farmer, he managed to overcome tasks outside his expertise, particularly those involving sheep, to claim victory. Dodson's ascent in the farming community is noteworthy, as he's also a contender for the Dairy Manager of the Year in the Canterbury Dairy Industry Awards. 

Working for Andrew and Haley Slater, he brings a fresh and enthusiastic perspective to the agricultural field. The conversation touches on Dodson's recent involvement with the Darfield Young Farmers Club, an indicator of his commitment to the farming community. 

A key point of discussion was the challenges and strengths he experienced during the competition. 

"Probably anything to do with sheep," Dodson admits, was the most challenging, contrasting with his confidence in dairy-related tasks. 

"Definitely anything to do with dairy," he says, where he excelled, particularly in practical skills "like the head to heads and stuff" which helped him win that section of the event. The conversation also delves into Dodson's family legacy in farming. 

Both his father and uncle have been through the Young Farmers competition, with his uncle winning it and his father reaching the grand final. This history not only brings pride but serves as an inspirational backdrop for his current endeavours. His father, having competed not too long ago, has been a mentor to him in this journey. 

As Dodson looks forward to the Grand Finale in July, he acknowledges the need to brush up on theoretical knowledge, particularly around feeds, plants, and general agriculture. 

He plans to reach out to those with experience, saying, "I know a few guys have been here and done it, so I'll definitely be looking to them for a bit of knowledge and a bit of a helping hand." 

Lastly, Dodson discusses the status of the Darfield Young Farmers Club, noting that it's rebuilding and poised to become a strong community once more members join. His optimism for the club reflects a larger trend of rejuvenation among Young Farmers clubs across the country. 

Listen to the full chat between George Dodson and Dominic George above.

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