Dean Rabbidge, a 30 year old sheep, beef and dairy farmer from Wyndham, and the Vice Chairman of the NZ National Young Farmers Contest, has won the 2016 Zanda McDonald Award.
The award was presented last night (23rd) in Wellington at the ‘Capital Connections; Winds of Change’ Conference by NZ Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. Nathan Guy.
The prize, valued at over $30,000, includes:
An expenses-paid, tailored mentoring package whereby Mr Rabbidge can spend time with three-four relevant PPP members in Australia and/or New Zealand.
A place on the 2017 Rabobank Farm Manager’s Programme.
Access to the 130 of Australia’s finest producers and agri-business people who make up the PPP Group.
This year, the prize package was extended to include the use of a Pilatus aircraft – a PC 12 jet – for the winner to visit their mentors.
Mr Rabbidge, who competed against fellow finalists – New Zealand’s Erica van Reenen, an environmental and agricultural consultant with AgFirst and Western Australia’s Wesley Lefroy, a soil scientist – said he was humbled to have been chosen.
Shane McManaway, Chairman of the PPP Group, says: “Dean is an exceptional young man.
His intelligence, his enormous sense of responsibility and his natural people skills will take him far. And I believe he will relish the mentoring opportunities that winning the Zanda McDonald Award will provide”.
Mr Rabbidge and Mr McManaway has been invited to have lunch with the Prime Minister and Minister Guy.
The Zanda McDonald award is a PPP initiative which aims to preserve the legacy of the late Zanda McDonald, a strong leader in the Australian cattle industry – as well as assist young agri-business people on their chosen career path.
We were at the award ceremony last night having spent three days at the PPP conference with the three finalists, all of whom have already achieved a lot in, and given a lot to, agri-business and their rural communities.
It is encouraging to know there are young people of this calibre in the industry.