Deserving Fieldays competition winner drives home brand-new Isuzu D-Max ute

Tony and Kate Fransen, Waikato locals, are the envy of ute-enthusiasts across the country as they drove home an Isuzu D-Max LS Double Cab ute yesterday due to Tony’s highly anticipated Fieldays Explorer Band competition win.

Tony is thrilled with his win and was in dire need of a vehicle upgrade as his current car, a 1994 Honda Civic Shuttle Beagle 4WD, has been leaking and pooling water in the footwell.

The brand-new Isuzu LS Double Cab 4WD D-Max being gifted, thanks to Isuzu Utes New Zealand, is in good hands, as Tony and Kate have 21 hectares of land to look after and a young family to cart around.

“To be able to win an Isuzu D-Max with the highest safety rating is just what we need to protect our kids, as well as enabling us to pick up the required farm supplies without having to borrow a bigger vehicle! It still feels quite surreal,” Tony remarks.

Tony has been involved in dairy farming all his life, either working on farms or through rural professional roles. He grew up on a 600-cow dairy farm north of Morrinsville where he still helps his parents out from time to time. He has a Bachelor of Agriscience from Massey University under his belt, and he currently works as an Environment and Welfare Manager at LIC.

His role focuses on researching, modelling, and developing ways for dairy farmers to reduce their environmental footprint and improve the wellbeing of dairy animals through breeding, technology, and farm systems solutions.

Also, being a Waikato local, Tony has been to many Fieldays events in his time and volunteered a decade ago during his university years.

His wife, Kate Fransen, is also heavily involved in the rural sector as a Senior Project Manager for DairyNZ. Kate is currently managing a seven-year research programme on nitrate leaching and plantain that was launched at Fieldays this year.

The Fieldays Explorer Band, the catalyst for Tony’s win, is a wristband containing RFID technology. This technology allows visitors to connect their details and scan their band to request relevant information from Fieldays exhibitors, enter their competitions, claim giveaways, order coffees, and more.

Fieldays visitors had three chances to go into the draw to win the ute when they attended this year’s event: through activating the Explorer Band with their details, tagging it at the Isuzu Utes New Zealand site, and by returning the Fieldays Explorer Band by dropping it in the winnable ute.

Isuzu Utes New Zealand has been supporting Fieldays since 2010 and is a very active brand in the rural community nationwide.

Isuzu Utes New Zealand General Manager Sam Waller says, “We are so pleased to share a long-standing partnership with Fieldays and to give a deserving member of the rural community the keys to a D-Max.”

“Plus, after a year hiatus, it was great to see such a phenomenal turnout at Fieldays and get back to connecting face-to-face with our customers.”

He adds that the team at Isuzu Utes New Zealand is delighted that Tony is the recipient of the ute.

“We couldn’t think of a more deserving winner of the new Isuzu D-Max ute than Tony, being a dairy farmer, agribusiness professional, and family man.

“The D-Max’s off-road ability, power, and torque will help Tony tread through muddy terrain on his land. Also, its maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating makes it the safest ute on the market and the perfect wagon to transport his kids.”

Karl Nation, the Dealer Principal from the local Isuzu dealerships in Hamilton, handed over the keys to Tony’s shiny, new ute on behalf of Isuzu Utes.

“We were thrilled to hear that a local won the Fieldays and Isuzu Utes competition. We look forward to seeing Tony and his family driving around the community in their new D-Max.”

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