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Watts wins East Coast Young Farmer title again

History has repeated itself at the FMG Young Farmer of the Year (FMG YFOTY) East Coast Regional Final, with Joseph Watts taking out the title.

It's the second year in a row the 29-year-old PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative has been crowned East Coast FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Greytown contract milker Hamish Hammond, 29, came in second place for the region, also for the second year in a row.

Third place East Coast FMG YFOTY was awarded to first time competitor and veterinarian, Georgina Campbell.

Joseph Watts has taken home $12,000 in prizes, and said he was excited to get another shot at the Grand Final after coming runner up to James Robertson in 2019 by just half a point.

The eight regional finalists competed in eight modules and battled it out in two time and points races — head to head — at The Central Hawke's Bay A&P Show Grounds, Waipukurau last Saturday.

The two head to head races 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 YFOTY buzzer quiz also tested the regional finalists' knowledge.

Being a 2019 Grand Finalist, Watts said it was a strength, knowing where to pick up points.

“Although it's a farming competition, I'm able to look back on 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.”

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

He's now been with PGG Wrightson for about 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 and how it falls. Generally the cream rises to the top but there's certainly some luck to play with there,” he said.

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,” said Watts.