Monday, 02 March 2020 09:55

Joseph Watts once again the East Coast FMG Young Farmer of the Year

Written by  Staff Reporters
East Coast FMG Young Farmer of the Year, Joseph Watts. East Coast FMG Young Farmer of the Year, Joseph Watts.

History has repeated itself at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year East Coast Regional Final.

29-year-old PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative, Joseph Watts has taken out the title for the second year in a row.

Watts has taken home $12,000 in prizes and says he is excited to get another shot at the grand final.

Watts came runner up to James Robertson in 2019 by just half a point.

The competition on Saturday saw eight regional finalists compete in eight modules and battle it out in two time and points races head-to-heads at The Central Hawke’s Bay A&P Show Grounds, Waipukurau.

The two head-to-heads involved building and fitting a wooden gate, putting together a trough fitting, administering first aid to an ‘injured child’, wood chopping, pruning trees, pushing wool bales and more.

A written exam, as well as the famous FMG Young Farmer of the Year (FMG YFOTY) buzzer quiz also tested the regional finalist’s knowledge.

Being a 2019 grand finalist, Watts’ said was a strength, knowing where to pick up points.

“Although it’s a farming competition, I’m able to feedback on some of my sporting career as well and work out how to actually win. It might not be in the prettiest way or the best way but it comes down to amounting as many points at the end of the day.” 

The former professional squash player was ranked 169th on the World Circuit in his prime.

Joseph Watts fitting a wooden gate during the competition.

For Watts, the road to Grand Final starts now. 

He grew up as a city boy in Palmerston North and studied a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at Massey University.

He met his wife Lucy at University, who introduced him to the rural lifestyle.

They moved to Raetihi after graduating where he learnt to shear and spent two years in the sheds.

Discovering a passion for agronomy, he studied a post graduate diploma in Agricultural Science and Rural Studies.

He’s now been with PGG Wrightson for close to four years and is committed to winning FMG Young Farmer of the Year for 2020.

“You can do all the preparation in the world but it depends what they throw at you on the day, how it falls. Generally the cream rises to the top but there’s certainly some luck to play with there,” says Watts.

He also wants to use the pedestal as grand finalist to put a spotlight on the agrifood sector.

“That’s definitely something I want to improve on from last year, along with half a point,” he says.

Three more regional finals will be held in the South Island over the next five weeks.  

The eight finalists at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year East Coast Regional Final.

Full results

1st – Joseph Watts

2nd – Hamish Hammond

3rd – Georgina Campbell

Strainer winners 

People – Cameron Walker 

Environment – Hamish Hammond

Innovation – Hamish Hammond

Technology – Joseph Watts

Food – Joseph Watts

More like this

Watts hat trick title win

Joseph Watts has proven he’s too hard to beat, taking out East Coast FMG Young Farmer of the Year for the third year in a row.

Rathkeale College duo takes out win

A duo from Rathkeale College, Masterton have taken out the title for the 2021 East Coast FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year after competing for four years in a row.

Being tough just not enough

Auckland-born and bred Northern region Young Farmer of the Year winner Lisa Kendall reckons because she didn’t grow up on the land she felt a lot of pressure to fit in and be tough when she went into farming.


Deer farmer's roaring success

Southland elk farmer Tom May is no stranger to producing top quality velvet and believes that his Mayfield Elk Farm,…

The beginning - not end!

After seven years, the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) came to an end on 31 March, yet chair Malcolm Bailey…

Machinery & Products

SIAFD wins punters' plaudits

After celebrating its 70th year last month, it looks like the South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) has hit its…

Opens up blindspots

Traditionally blind spots caused by large buckets or front mounted loads on wheeled loaders have been a major safety concern.

She's one big feeder

Feeder specialists Hustler has released a maxi-sized multi-feeder aimed at large scale farms in New Zealand and further afield.

Roots out problems

Austrian manufacturer Pöttinger has introduced the new Durastar narrow share for its Synkro and Synkro-T, mounted stubble cultivators.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Blue murder

OPINION: Your old mate recently read an off-the-wall suggestion, by some boffin, that deliberately staining meat blue will lead to…

Foot in mouth - again!

OPINION: This old mutt reckons Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor too often suffers from 'foot in mouth' disease.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter