A Te Awamutu vet has become the first woman in 15 years to be named the Waikato/Bay of Plenty FMG Young Farmer of the Year.
Emma Dangen won the fiercely-contested regional final in Matamata on Saturday night, beating seven other contestants.
She’s the first woman from the region to make it through to the prestigious grand final since Louise Collingwood in 2004.
“I’m speechless, it’s been a massive day,” said the 24-year-old who received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Matamata Racecourse.
Her win means it’s the first time in the contest’s 51-year history there will be two women competing in the grand final.
“Georgie Lindsay, who’ll represent the Tasman region, is a good mate. It’ll be neat to attend the grand final together,” said Dangen.
Contestants in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty regional final had to tackle a series of gruelling modules, including a fast-paced agri-knowledge quiz.
“We had to develop an international marketing pitch for a New Zealand smoothie product and construct a roadside stall to sell vegetables,” she said.
“We also had to assess the weight and age of dairy goats, and determine the annual income from each doe.”
The win netted Dangen $12,000 worth of prizes – including an XR150 Honda farm bike. She also picked up the innovation prize and the award for showcasing food production.
Emma has worked as a vet at Vetora in Te Awamutu since January this year, after completing a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Massey University.
She lives with her fiancé on a 750 cow dairy farm at Pirongia.
Emma Dangen is one of only six woman nationally to ever qualify for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final.
This year’s grand final is in Hawke’s Bay in July.
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