Tim Van de Molen wins ANZ Young Farmer Contest

Posted by on 19 May 2013 | Comments

After two gruelling days of competition Tim Van de Molen of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Region is the 2013 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Champion.

“It’s an absolute honour and a privilege”, said Mr Van de Molen following the evening show at TVNZ Studios in Auckland.

The ANZ agri-manager and farm owner from Hamilton was runner up in the 2011 Grand Final. “I’m just delighted with the outcome, it is been a long road to get here”, said Mr Van de Molen.

Mr Van de Molen was not the only winner on stage tonight.

The youngest competitor, Matthew Bell of Aorangi, took out the Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenge and is the proud owner of $14,000 worth of Ravensdown and C-Dax products and services. Taranaki/Manawatu’s Cam Brown triumphed in the AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge and won a $15,000 AGMARDT Scholarship towards a career development programme.  Reuben Carter from Tasman dominated the Silver Fern Farms Agri-sport Challenge winning a Silver Fern Farms and FarmIQ farmer technology package worth $5,000. And, the Champion, Mr Van de Molen, also took out the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge and received $9,500 towards an industry related conference package.

This year’s Contest was not for the faint of heart. The heavy downpour during the Practical Day at Kumeu Showgrounds added to the complexity of the challenges.  The Grand Finalists’ skills, stamina and strength were all put to the test. They had to complete tasks such as cooking a gourmet meal, building a miniature farm, sheep shearing and fence building. Their business skills were also tested in an HR module, a business presentation and a panel interview.  And, there was the physically demanding Agri-sports Challenge.

Mr Van de Molen was slightly behind the pack during the Practical Day and all Contestants delivered convincing and engaging speeches during the Friday night ANZ Grand Final Dinner, Mr Van de Molen, without showing any signs of being nervous, quickly reversed the scoreboard during the evening show and question rounds.

The thirty year old has proven himself to be a well-rounded and driven individual and he sees this accomplishment as a stepping stone into a broader role in the rural sector.

“Agriculture is what this country is built on, it’s that pioneering spirit that formed our country and I’m very proud of that and keen to be involved”, he said.

Mr Van de Molen thanked his family, his partner Hilary, the organizing committee, the other Contestants, and he also recognized the sponsors for their support of the competition.

He thoughtfully observed, “it’s hugely important how [the sponsors] have continued to front up in these trying economic times and while the prizes are fantastic, it’s even more important to note that they are here because they are aligned with the same things that the Contest stands for: passion for driving the industry forward”.

He also commented that his preparation for the Contest relied upon the wider agricultural industry. “It’s about getting out and getting involved in the industry and using those opportunities and connections to build your network and build your knowledge base”, he said.

Mr Van de Molen was awarded nearly $70,000 in prizes including $10,000 cash from ANZ, entrance to Kellogg’s Rural Programme from Lincoln University valued at $5,000, Ravensdown and C-Dax products, an AGMARDT scholarship towards a career development programme worth $2,000, a gourmet BBQ and farm technology package from Silver Fern Farms and FarmIQ worth $10,000, a Honda TRX500FRM ATV and EU20 Inverter generator worth $19,700, Husqvarna power equipment worth $8,000 and $7,000 of Vodafone products and services. He will also be taking the coveted trophy back home to the Waikato, “where it will live above the fireplace”, he said.

Mr Van de Molen also offered some sound advice for aspiring Young Farmer competitors: “Once something is done, it’s done. And if you weren’t happy with it, just put it behind you and continue”.

As for the future, Mr Van de Molen wants to relax and get back into the swing of normal day-today life, but is still eager and excited for the opportunities that await him. “It’s been a wonderful journey but, for me there is certainly more. It’s not the end, just the beginning. I’m passionate about agriculture and I hope this will be a springboard to continue that involvement long-term”.

Tim Van de Molen - Waikato/Bay of Plenty 292
Cam Brown - Taranaki/Manawatu 287
Matthew Bell - Aorangi 279
Reuben Carter - Tasman 270
Dean Rabbidge - Otago/Southland 268
Ian Douglas - Northern  251
Aaron Passey - East Coast 236

For more information please contact

Chelsea Blair
NZYF Communications Coordinator
021 214 0703
chelsea.blair@youngfarmers.co.nz