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Regional Final winner Tim van de Molen carries out some maintenance on a Honda bike. CREDIT: NZ Young Farmers
The top TeenAg team; Cambridge High CREDIT: NZ Young Farmers
The top 7 AgriKidsNZ teams after the Race-off. CREDIT: NZ Young Farmers
On February 28th Shane Munford took out the Northern Regional Final for The National Bank Young Farmer Contest and now he’s set to battle it out against his cousin Tim van de Molen in the Grand Final in Masterton from June 29th to July 2nd.
In very wet conditions in Morrinsville, 28 year old Tim cruised to victory on Saturday at the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final winning by a margin of 53 points and taking out two of the four Challenges.
“I’m stoked it’s finally happened. I’ve put in a fair bit of work so it’s great to see the pay off. Also a lot of people have given me guidance and help and it’s nice to be able repay them with this win.”
“I hoped that I’d win because I have a lot more experience [in the Contest] than some of the other competitors so I thought that might give me a bit of a boost. But then again you don’t know until the day what you’re going to be tested on so that experience could be irrelevant.”
Being a Rural Manager with The National Bank Tim was expecting the contestants that are on-farm to be the ones to take out the practical Challenges. It was Tim however that won the Isuzu Agri-sports and Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenges.
“The two sections that I thought I could win [Lincoln University Agri-growth and AGMARDT Agri-business Challenges] I didn’t. I really thought I’d do much better on the theory than the practical.”
Tim also took out the question buzzer rounds and the speech at the Evening Show.
With the excitement of Regional Final behind him; Grand Final is already weighing on Tim’s mind.
“Right now it’s a bit daunting – there’s so much to do and learn but I’m excited and looking forward to enjoying the journey.”
Coming in second was first time competitor Dwayne Cowin (25) with a total of 183 points; the youngest in the field was third place getter 21 year old student James Lawn who also won the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge. 50:50 sharemilker Aaron Price (25) was fourth and the AGMARDT Agri-business challenge was won by 27 year old dairy farmer John Assen.
In light of recent events, the audience participation round at the Evening Show was changed a little. Items were donated from Contest sponsors for an auction round, with all funds raised going to the Christchurch Recovery Fund. Items auctioned were a Honda XR125 Duster farm bike, an Echo line trimmer, 20L of Glyphosate from Ravensdown and an iPod from The National Bank. The auction raised over $4000 for the Recovery Fund.
Once again the Regional Final will be televised by TVNZ in the lead up to the Grand Final on TVNZ 7s Road to the Young Farmer Final. The Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regional Final will be screened on May 21st.
For those wishing to pledge their support to Regional Finalists around New Zealand, they can also get involved by heading to www.goyoungfarmer.co.nz to leave a message of support.
Over in the TeenAg Competition Cambridge High, Putaruru College and Hamilton Girls took out the top spots respectively. Te Kuiti Primary’s Mighty Musterers took out first place in the AgriKidsNZ Competition and will join the top three TeenAg teams at Grand Final, along with Te Awamutu Primary’s Crossbreds and Kereone Primary’s Mooloos who were second and third.