Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | March 11, 2013

Young Farmer time again

Okay now I am starting to feel old.

There was a time when I knew everyone (technically, not EVERYone) in Young Farmers, not just in my region, but around the country. Now, as the press releases roll in with the 2013 finalists, they’re just too young! I spoke to a young farmers meeting the other day with another hat on and some of them probably weren’t alive when I joined!

Not just from national conference, but the Young Farmer Contest.. I remember (just to name drop a bit….) when a friend Warwick Catto won in Hastings in1995 (Thomas and I were on the organising committee as well and Warwick is now high on the management list at Ballance Agri-Nutrients), our farming friends Shaun Baxter from the mighty East Coast in 1997 and Callum Thomsen in 2007. Some of them I don’t remember as such but the names are familiar to many in agribusiness in NZ – Young Farmers CEO Richard Fitzgerald was third in 1995, Philip Reid of Southland radio fame won in 1996, Waikato Federated Farmers chairman James Houghton (I think) was second in 1998 (yes Steve Hines, I’ll mention you too cos you won that year!) Paul McGill was in two Grand Finals – he’s just finished a stint as Wairarapa Feds chairman. (There are plenty more but I am procrastinating writing all this because I am supposed to be writing a real story …).

As I stopped being a Young Farmer (i.e. turned 31 and became an old young farmer) I still knew many of the faces.  A few years down the track, there were still people popping out of the woodwork who had been the drunk noisy ones on their first national conference when I had seen the error of my ways and turned into a responsible member of national committee (hahahaha – sorry, have picked myself up from the floor, did you know there’s a text word for that, rofl, rolling on the floor laughing. I’ll let you think about lmao.)

Since Greymouth 2006 I have been involved on a professional level at the Grand Finals of The National Bank Young Farmer Contest, now known as the ANZ Young Farmer Contest (much shorter so less risk of RSI when typing, thank you ANZ). Firstly writing press releases and now taking the photos.

It is a great organisation to be part of professionally (and not a bad spot of fun either…)

So, with a phone call under my belt to the boss, we’re off to Auckland in May to snap the 2013 Contest Champion.

Here’s some of the press release from the East Coast regional final earlier this month (which I missed due to the very sad passing of a good mate)

Preparation is key on the East Coast
Posted On: Monday, 25 February 2013

Aaron Passey is the latest Grand Finalist for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest having narrowly taken first place over the weekend (Saturday 23 rd February) at the East Coast Regional Final in Woodville.

Sully Alsop of the Wairarapa Young Farmers Club was runner up followed by one of the few females competing, Michelle Brown from Ballance Young Farmers Club, and Edward Bell of Eskview Young Farmers Club in fourth. Aaron walked away with his share of the impressive prize pool valued at $9000. The prizes included cash components from ANZ and AGMARDT, a Lincoln University Scholarship, and products from Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, and Husqvarna.

Aaron also secured his place at the ANZ Young Farmer Grand Final in Auckland 16-18 May. His skills will be tested against seven other top achievers from across the country as they battle it out for the glory of the Young Farmer of the Year title and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes. Aaron was successful across the board winning both the Silver Fern Farms Agri-sport and Ravensdown Agri-skills Challenges. Michelle took the Lincoln University Agri-growth Challenge and Sully won the AGMARDT Agri-business Challenge.

Aaron is a 30 year old dairy farmer based outside of Dannevirke. A family man, he has three daughters, Lauren, 5, Amanda, 3, Rebecca, 8 months, and partner of ten years, Jo. They are sure to be at the Grand Final to cheer Dad on. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and is very excited about taking his farming career to the next level. “Over the past few years we’ve been working really hard building up our cow numbers…getting ready to take the next step towards ownership”.

Aaron’s family and work on the farm keep his schedule rather full, but he still finds time to serve as the Chairman for the Ballance Young Farmers Club and attend their events. One highlight was the annual clay bird shoot last year, which he also happened to win. When he can find some down time, Aaron enjoys all things outdoors such as hunting, especially waterfowl, and riding his motorbikes.

The top team for AgriKidsNZ was a team of triplets from Flemington School – Isaac, Louis and Joseph Twigg (these boys are indeed amazing and have just just been named in the prestigious Central Hawke’s Bay Sports Academy – well done – alongside Takapau trio Jack Ward, Rebecca Irons and Sam Henderson, whose mums are all good friends of mine!)

I don’t know them, but three lads from Lindisfarne College came third in the TeenAg (that’s where Lachlan’s going).

The top three teams from AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg are invited to Grand Final in Auckland on May 17th. That’s where I’ll be too!




  1. I’m feeling even older – I remember when it was the Skellerup Young Farmer contest!

  2. […] Young Farmer time again – RivettingKate Taylor: […]

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