5 minutes with lisa Kendall

Lisa KendallHow did you qualify for the Young Farmer of the Year Grand Final? What challenges were involved?
First there was the district final back in November, I wasn’t even going to enter that until my friends at Franklin Young Farmers twisted my arm and convinced me to tag along with them! To my surprise, I qualified for the regional final. This was held in March – there is an agribusiness exam, a quiz night, an interview, seven practical modules and an agri-sports challenge, so it was full on to say the least! We were tested on everything from fencing to fertiliser and everything in between.

What sort of preparation is required for the regional contests?
It was my first time entering the contest, so I went in a little blind but I basically spent all my spare time studying and ringing people for tips! I had a calendar of everything I wanted to study between the district and the regional, which was all a bit of guesswork but it seemed to pay off. Some rural professionals and farmers were also very kind to me and had me around to show me things and let me pester them with questions, which was so fantastic.

Have you done anything differently for the national final?
I have been working a lot more on my fitness leading up to this one as I’ve been warned that the Grand Final is a pretty gruelling few days. I’m also trying to work on my public speaking, as that will be part of one of our challenges. Each of us seven finalists has had to do a market innovation project, which has taken up a lot of my time, so it’s been a battle balancing work and study and fitness training!

What inspired you to enter?
Well I have always desperately wanted to be the Young Farmer of the Year but I’ve always been too nervous of not winning to enter, as I am a pretty competitive person. But thankfully my club dragged me along and I haven’t looked back since. It has been an amazing learning opportunity. Even if I don’t win, I’m glad I’ve put myself out there and had a crack and met a whole lot of fantastic and inspiring people in the process!

In addition to the Young Farmer of the Year title, there is also a People’s Choice Award. How can Farmlands shareholders get involved?
Everyone should get online and vote for their favourite finalist! It is very quick and easy to vote, just go to www.fmg.co.nz/peopleschoice and enter your email address and who you want to vote for. You then go in the draw to win a Fitbit, and the Young Farmers Club that the finalist who wins comes from will receive $1,000. I would really like to win that $1,000 for the Northern region as they are such an amazing and supportive crowd that nurtures some fantastic talent across many agricultural sectors. You can also follow my journey to the Grand Final on www.facebook.com/NZYFLisaKendall