Hoban happy with result

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James Hoban has no regrets, after vowing out of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest with a third placing at Timaru on Saturday night.
Mr Hoban produced a strong performance to claim two sections in his second successive, and last, grand final appearance. The grand final was won by Aorangi’s representative Athol New.
‘‘Winning would’ve been awesome, but there was always going to be six guys who weren’t going to win.
‘‘My main goal was to do better than last year and to win the Agribusiness section – I did that and I also won the Agriknowledge which was a bonus.’’
The Agribusiness section required the contestants to submit a project before the grand final, then do a presentation on it and sit an exam as part of the competition, while the Agriknowledge prize was based on the evening quiz and speeches.
The grand final was expected to be a showdown between second time grand finalists Mr Hoban and Taranaki / Manawatu’s Pete Fitz-Herbert and the pair excelled at the evening show after a long day of technical challenges.
Mr Hoban came a credible third in the AgriSports, but struggled in the practical events finishing in sixth place.
‘‘I was a bit surprised, I’m not sure what went wrong. If I’d been able to stay in touch in the practical I might have got a bit closer.
‘‘The good thing is I didn’t lose by one or two points, because then I’d be kicking myself on one quiz question or a small thing on the practical day.’’
Mr Hoban says being in a second grand final was fun and he enjoyed the company of the other competitors.
‘‘The second go was definitely an advantage, not so much from a competitive point of view, but from enjoyment. Last year I was pinching myself that I was there, but this time I was able to just enjoy it and soak it up.’’
He says he has appreciated the support of family and friends and the local community.
After returning home ‘‘knackered’’, it was back to business as usual on the farm and his commitments chairing the North Canterbury Landcare Group and the Northern South Island Farmers’ Council.
‘‘It’s been a bit of a learning curve, but I have a good group of people around me.’’
The Young Farmer of the Year contest grand final will screen on Sunday, July 17, at 4pm on TV One.