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Posted on Sep 15, 2014

On Saturday September 13th, 23 year old Cressy resident Prue Dennis was named Australian Chainsaws Rural Youth Young Farmer of the Year for 2014.

The competition took place at Quercus Park, Carrick, the home of Rural Youth Tasmania and began at 8am, with the paddocks still covered with a light dew and the air crisp.

Dennis and 14 other finalists, who had won through a region runoff in July completed 8 modules including Fencing, Tractor Handling and amongst others a Home Economics challenge involving creative Lamington design. Later in the evening, at a formal dinner event, the field was cut to a Top 6, who then had a further two modules to complete: Public Speaking and General Knowledge Quiz.

In 2013 Dennis placed third in the competition and the win caps an extraordinary rise up the ranks since her first top 3 finish in 2012. She will take home her choice of ATV kindly donated by Polaris, with the total first place prize value exceeding $15000.

“After a day of fierce competition, with some good challenging modules…it is still so unbelievably surreal and it hasn’t yet sunk in.” Dennis said of her win, whilst she also commented on the growth of the event, “Each year this competition just keeps getting better and the prizes are fantastic”.

Will McConnon of Stonor finished a close second, whilst Meg Kluver-Jones of Sandfly, in Tasmania’s south finished third in her first crack at the competition. Both they, and every finalist placing in the top 6 took home cash prizes and tool packages, with the total competition prize pool exceeding $25000. Interestingly, Kluver-Jones only took her spot in the competitions top 15, after another finalist was unable to attend.

The competition was the most fiercely battled in recent years with only a handful of points separating 1st and 10th going into the Top 6 rounds. Two modules saw joint winners, whilst another two were decided by a single point, with all judges discussing the difficulties in separating the field.

 

Modules Completed:

Tractor Handling

Sheep and Wool ID

Fencing

Firearm Safety

Finance

First Aid

Seed ID and Planting

Media

Home Economics

 

Top 6:

Prue Dennis

Will McConnon

Meg Kluver-Jones

Martin McConnon

Keith Lee

Richard Petrie

 

Remaining Finalists:

Malcom Campbell

Dale Hayers

Ethan Williams

Casey Jones

Brighid Worldon

Philippa Green

Morgan Waters

Peter Damen

Matthew Bayles