Retiring NZYF Contest Board Members Leave Impressive Legacy

Feb 11, 2019
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Two long-serving members of the board overseeing the FMG Young Farmer of the Year are set to retire.

Cole Groves, 32, and Dean Rabbidge, 33, will step down from the NZ Young Farmers Contest Board in July.

The pair first joined the committee in 2014, and both have a long history with the national agri-business contest.

“Cole and Dean are tireless volunteers, driven by a desire to give back to the primary industries,” said NZYF Contest Board chair Rebecca Brown.

“Their contribution has been immense.”

“They have helped overhaul the contest to ensure it will continue to innovate, thrive and remain relevant,” she said.

The FMG Young Farmer of the Year is an unrivalled event which challenges and educates the next generation of food producers.

Dean Rabbidge, is a sheep, beef and dairy farmer in Wyndham, and won the Otago/Southland regional final in 2013 and 2014.

He joined the committee in 2014 and served as its chair from 2016 to 2018.

“The two achievements I’m most proud of are getting the new board structure over the line and developing a formal strategy for the contest,” he said.

“I got a lot out of competing and this role has been a way for me to give back to the contest.”

Cole Groves, who’s an Ashburton dairy farmer, won the Tasman regional final in 2011.

He started serving on the committee during his time as chair of NZ Young Farmers and was appointed for a second term in 2017.

“The formal strategy, which we launched last year, has given the contest some much-needed direction. It will ensure the event showcases the primary industries in an engaging and exciting way,” he said.

“I’ve made some really good friends through my involvement with the contest and grown my own skills at the same time.”

The NZYF Contest Board is made up of eight people, including four appointed members.

Applications are being sought from people interested in serving on the board.

“You don’t need a huge amount of contest experience, you just need to understand the event and be passionate about helping it grow,” said Cole.

Applicants are not required to be current NZ Young Farmers members.

“It’s hugely rewarding, but it is a big commitment. We have four face-to-face meetings a year, attend two regional finals and then spend a week at grand final,” said Dean.

Applications open on March 1st and close on April 15th. Application forms will be available to download from the NZ Young Farmers website.

“This is a great opportunity for young people looking to broaden their governance skills and help drive involvement in the agri-food sector,” said Rebecca.

Two successful candidates will be appointed following the grand final in July.

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