A new competition has been launched to test the farming skills of students at Massey University in Palmerston North.

The country’s largest NZ Young Farmers club, Massey Young Farmers, will run the inaugural Rural Student of the Year on August 22nd.

The event will see 21 agricultural students at Massey University clash in a series of agri-food challenges.

“The competition will be similar to the qualifying events for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year,” said club chair Megan Robertson.

“There will be seven practical farming-based modules focused on stock handling, dairying, farm mechanics, agribusiness skills, tractor driving, fencing and culinary skills.”

The event will be held on the oval at Massey University between midday and 3.30pm.

“Our ultimate aim for this competition is to help our club members learn new skills, test their abilities and build their confidence,” she said.

“It is also a fantastic way to expose other students on campus to NZ Young Farmers and the fun side of the agri-food sector.”

The modules will be followed by a quiz. The top five competitors will go head to head in a short speech competition at the Masonic Hotel.

The winner of the inaugural Massey Young Farmers Rural Student of the Year will be announced after the results are tallied.

A prize pool of almost $3,000 is up for grabs.

“We hope that after giving our event a go, participants will be more willing and inclined to enter the prestigious FMG Young Farmer of the Year,” said the vice-chair of Massey Young Farmers Hugh Jackson.

“The qualifying events have lacked numbers from our club in previous years and we’re eager to change that.”

Running the Rural Student of the Year would not be possible without the support of Stockade, Palmerston North Rotary, Property Brokers, Farmlands, Skellerup, MUSA, Turton Fencing, Norwood, City Honda, Farm Services Massey and DairyNZ.