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

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