Meet the magnificent seven

Posted by on 10 May 2013 | Comments

The top seven Young Farmer Contestants are gearing up for the Grand Final of the 2013 ANZ Young Farmer Contest, 16-18 May 2013 in Auckland at Kumeu Showgrounds and SKYCITY.

Each finalist represents a different Region of New Zealand and they all come from a variety of backgrounds.

Representing the Northern region is Ian Douglas, 30, a dairy farmer from Whangarei. He is the current Chairman of the Whangarei Young Farmers Club and placed second in last year’s Northern Regional Final. Ian also took home the honour as Northland Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year.

The Waikato/Bayof Plenty Grand Finalist is Tim Van de Molen, 30, from the Hamilton City Young Farmers Club. He works in Hamilton as an agri-manager for ANZ, owns a farm and has spent time with the NZ Army. Tim holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology. He was also runner up in the 2011 Grand Final.

From the Taranaki/Manawatu Region is Cam Brown. The thirty year old works as a lower order sharemilker south of Pahiatua and he is a member of the Fitzherbert Young Farmers Club. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in agri-business and AgITO Level 4 in production management. Cam was also a Grand Finalist in 2011.

Dairy farmer, Aaron Passey, 31, is the East Coast Grand Finalist. He has been a member of Young Farmers for seven years and is the current Ballance Club Chairman. He resides in Dannevirke and his hobbies include hunting, riding motorbikes and spending time with his family. He also won the Ballance Club annual clay bird shoot in 2012.

Twenty nine year old Reuben Carter, is from the Tasman Region.He is a graduate trainee with a seed company in Christchurch. He recently graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Agriculture. Reuben enjoys stock judging, hunting, rodeos, flying – he is working on his pilot’s licence – and he is very active in competitive wood chopping; he competes at most agricultural shows around the country. This will be his first Grand Final.

First time Grand Finalist is twenty-six year old Matthew Bell, representing the Aorangi Region. Matthew currently works as a dairy farm manager in Mayfield with 1100 cows on 300ha and one day hopes to own a large sheep & beef farm. He is a member of the Hinds Young Farmers Club and enjoys refereeing rugby, snowboarding, cricket and mountain biking. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture.

Representing Otago/Southland is Dean Rabbidge, 27. He is a manager on his family’s sheep, beef & dairy farm near Wyndham and his interests include rugby, hunting, and mountain biking. Dean is the current Chairman of the Wyndham Young Farmers Club and Regional Vice-Chairman for Otago/Southland. He has a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture from Lincoln University. Dean is well travelled and has spent time working a harvest in the UK and indoor lambing in Wales.

The Grand Final events begin Thursday 17th May, 4pm with the Official Opening at Aotea Square. Friday 18th May is the Practical Day, held at Kumeu Showgrounds. Entry to the showgrounds is gold coin donation. Friday evening sees the black-tie ANZ Grand Final Dinner, held at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron. The competition continues on Saturday 19th May with a closed door exam in the morning and the evening show at TVNZ studio 3 and a live-feed broadcast, seated dinner and celebration ball for audiences at SKYCITY.
Tickets for all these events are still available at


For more information contact:                       

Chelsea Blair
NZYF Communications Coordinator
T: 03 303 3054  M: 021 214 0703 E:


 (left to right) Matthew Bell, Ian Douglas, Cam Brown, Reuben Carter, Dean Rabbidge, Tim Van de Molen, Aaron Passey)