Triumph at Taranaki: Zayn Jones's journey to Young Farmer of the Year glory

Triumph at Taranaki: Zayn Jones's journey to Young Farmer of the Year glory

The FMG Taranaki/Manawatu Young Farmer of the Year regional final event was held last week with Zayn Jones taking out the competition and securing his spot in the grand final.

At 31, Jones has achieved a last-chance triumph, outperforming competitors with his agricultural prowess and strategic acumen. He shares the intensity of the final quiz segment that pushed him to the edge, admitting that "it did really come down to the quiz at the end of the night." 

Despite the pressure, his experience in dairy and fencing shone through, areas where he felt most confident. He wryly recounts his encounter with the quiz, saying, "Sean was right up there with me. He probably answered a few more questions than me, so put a bit of sweat on my brow." 

Throughout the conversation, Jones is open about his challenges, specifically his "average knowledge of seed identification" and his struggles with butchery. These are the areas he's determined to improve upon, stating that "narrowing that down for the grand final is probably really going to help." 

As the chair of the Fitzherbert Young Farmers Club, Jones emphasises the importance of community and shared knowledge. He reveals how he's leveraging the club's collective expertise to refine his skills, mentioning, "Our club, Fitzherbert, here in Palmy, has quite a range of farming expertise there, so I'll be leaning hard on some of the members and some previous competitors." 

In addition to his farming achievements, Jones talks about his day job managing a dairy farm in Opiki, overseeing 540 cows. With a contract for milk starting June 1st, Jones acknowledges the busy road ahead but remains optimistic. 

"You've got to take the opportunities while they're there, so why not?" 

The conversation captures the essence of Zayn Jones's dedication and ambition as he gears up for the grand final in Hamilton come July. 

"Yeah, (it's) a bit ahead of me, but looking forward to it." 

Jones's story is not just about personal glory; it is a testament to the strength of the community and the unyielding spirit of young farmers in New Zealand. 

His journey is a beacon for aspiring agriculturalists and a reminder that with grit and support, triumph is within reach.

Listen to the full chat between Zayn Jones and Dominic George above.

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