Fixing fences and driving tractors is men’s work
Not a chance says New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays as this year they are opening the entry criteria for Fieldays Rural Bachelor, allowing both male and female contestants to enter the competition.
Fieldays Rural Bachelor has been a popular fixture on the Fieldays calendar for 13 years, searching New Zealand and Australia to find eight talented rural competitors to test their skill both on and off the farm to find the ultimate champion.
Between challenges the finalists would attend rural functions and activities, meeting and spending time with a group of rural women known as the Gumboot Girls, but that’s all about to change.
Fieldays Major Event Manager Lee Picken says there are women all over the country working in the rural sector and it’s about time the competition caught up.
“In the past we’ve had women coming along to support the men but that’s just so outdated. They can do the work just like men so now they can compete just like men” said Picken.
The changes to the competition recognise the role both men and women play in the agriculture industry and support for the new format has been huge.
Last year’s winner Matthew McAtamney says the changes will bring a new element to the competition and will make great entertainment.
“There are heaps of really talented people working in the industry, and I think this year’s finalists will be putting it all on the line to show New Zealand what they’ve got” said McAtamney.
The format of the competition will remain the same and there won’t be any gender specific competition or titles, however the name Fieldays Rural Bachelor won’t cut it anymore.
“This competition is about celebrating the talented men and women working in the agricultural industry and giving them the opportunity to take a break and meet some new people.
“It’s a search to find the ultimate rural catch so this year’s finalists will be competing for the title of Fieldays Rural Catch of the Year” said Picken.
Not only are the finalists a catch for any potential love interest but their rural skills and knowledge of agricultural business makes them a catch for any employer, business partner and the wider industry.
Partnered by Farmlands Co-operative, the competition is exclusively for singles but Picken says you won’t find any rose ceremonies here.
“Yes it would be nice to see our finalists find love but we won’t be match making. Over the years we’ve seen romances and bromances blossom and honestly that’s all we really want.
“Rural life can mean long hours in remote locations so it’s all about finding support and building networks” said Picken.
You can view the criteria and apply for Fieldays Rural Catch at www.fieldays.co.nz/whats-on/rural-catch/
Image: 2017 Rural Bachelor of the Year Matthew McAtamney
ABOUT NZ AGRICULTURAL FIELDAYS
New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays is based on a 114-hectare site at Mystery Creek 10 minutes from Hamilton, and is the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere.
Fieldays will celebrate its 50th event from 13-16 June 2018.
Fieldays draws people from around the globe – both as exhibitors and visitors. In 2017 133,588 people visited the event and it generated $538million in sales revenue for New Zealand businesses.
Fieldays is run by New Zealand National Fieldays Society, a charitable organisation founded in 1968 for the purpose of advancing primary industry.
Fieldays Rural Catch is proudly partnered by Farmlands Co-operative.