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Down to the wire at Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final

Down to the wire at Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final

Tim van de Molen is the second Grand Finalist in 2013 after he won the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest on Saturday February 16th in Hamilton at St Paul’s Collegiate School.

It was a very tight race throughout the competition, the final result came down to just one question.

Mr van de Molen had his work cut out for him narrowly taking the win by just two points ahead of competitor Dwayne Cowin. Josh Cozens and James Bryan were not far behind, placing third and fourth respectively.

“I felt comfortable, it was great to be out there and amongst it again,” commented Mr van de Molen after a year off from the Contest.

However, he did find a couple of the components rather challenging. “A lot of work had to be done for the fencing module…and the module with GPS and ipads was complicated, but after that, I really found my groove.”

Mr van de Molen, 30, is an agri-manager for ANZ and a long-time member of New Zealand Young Farmers. He held the national vice-presidency for three years and this will be his second time as a Grand Finalist.

Mr van de Molen said he draws his motivation from the sense of accomplishment that competing offers.

“It’s more the idea of achievement and being a part of the agriculture industry. We are so often at the forefront of innovation and incredible things; it’s great to be involved with that”.

He also felt very optimistic about bringing the Contest to the city of Hamilton.

“More collaboration is needed between the rural and urban sectors. I don’t feel it’s quite right where it should be. We should focus on bridging the gap between the two. We are a pretty small country and if we have a united front [of the two sectors] and the support of the government, we can put our best foot forward on the international stage.”

The range of jobs he held and his time in the army helped Mr van de Molen succeed over the weekend.

“I’ve been lucky to have had a variety of jobs and my time in the army certainly helped with the physical side of things. The Agri-sport was very physically demanding, with the rowing machine you really had to dig deep”.

Mr van de Molen has lots on his plate to keep him busy this year; maintaining his crop and dry stock farm, preparing for the Grand Final, and heading over to Sydney at the end of March for the Royal Easter Show as part of his ambassador duties as Rural Young Achiever of the year, 2012.

Mr van de Molen also took the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge and tied with Mr Cowin and Mr Cozens for the Silver Ferm Farms Agri-sport Challenge. Mr Cowin was also successful at the Ravensdown Agri-skills challenge. The AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge was won by James Courtman.

Mr van de Molen not only secured his spot at the Grand Final in Auckland 16-18 May, he also took home the winner’s prize pack valued at $9000 which includes cash components from ANZ and AGMARDT, a Lincoln University Scholarship for an entrepreneurial workshop, quality fertiliser products from Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms retail products, and a Honda XR125 two-wheeled farm bike.

Prizes for the runners up included cash from ANZ, Ravensdown products, a Honda water pump, and outdoor power equipment from Husqvarna. All entrants have the opportunity to apply for one of seven Lincoln University Study Scholarships worth up to $4000 each.

Some keen farmers of the future were also on display in Hamilton for the TeenAg Regional Final. In first place was The Udder 2, James Robertson and Daniel Reymer from Hamilton Boys High followed by the home team SPC Red, James Ingham and Sam Rush from St Pauls Collegiate. And, in third place was Forest Girls, Rachel Durie and Caitlin Bridson from Forest View High School.

The AgriKidsNZ Competition was won by Young Cockies, Cameron Mayall, Jason Barker and Ethan Morris from Berkley Middle School, Tirohia School and Elstow-Waihou School. In second was M.I.S Muckabouts, Stacey Clarke, Reece Paterson and Kaya Barrett from Morrinsville Intermediate followed by Waiterimu Red, Ryan Bateup, Emily Kitson and Dravyn Lee-Tauroa from Waiterimu School in third.

The top three teams from TeenAg and AgriKidsNZ are invited to Grand Final in Auckland on May 17th.

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