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Daren Mabey

“If you’re not farming, it’s the next best thing.”

Over his long career, retiring ADAMA Commercial Manager, Canterbury, Daren Mabey has covered a fair bit of ground with his work. “Everywhere from Northland to Canterbury.”
Daren Mabey

Daren says his career in the industry has been rewarding. “It’s been a blast. It’s the best industry in the world. If you’re not farming, this is the next best thing.”

While Daren had a solid farming background (dairy, sheep and beef), as he explains, it was thousands of miles away that his career was actually kickstarted. “I went on my OE to the UK to see my sister and ended up having a four-year long education on grain and seeds working for the then industry leader.”

That was an experience that made a lasting impression.

On returning to New Zealand Daren worked for the ‘who’s who’ of the agricultural industry, being shoulder-tapped by companies including Hodder and Tolley, Elders, Nufarm  and then Crop Care, Syngenta, and ADAMA, where he’s worked for the past 13 years.

While Daren has been a commercial manager for crops ranging from kiwifruit to maize, and apples to grapes, he says cereals have always been a particular favourite – harking back to his initial time in grain and seeds. 

Daren says people and agronomy always came first in his work. “I’ve always loved growing things.” Laughing, he says if there was one downside to his job it was that he never got called to see a good crop, only the ones that had a problem! 

Solving those problems was a matter of knowledge, experience, and good relationships.

“It’s a trust thing. When you recommend a product – whosever product that is – people will know it’s the best product or advice for the job. And, while doing that, if I could also help someone look good and be appreciated by their customer, that made it an awesome day.”

Daren says he’s grateful for the opportunities he’s had to travel and study but most of all for the people he’s worked with. “People; colleagues and customers have just been amazing. And customers are not just ‘customers’ a lot of them are friends.” He says he’s also valued his colleagues, “You can just jump on the phone and have a yarn. Workmates are pretty special in this game.”

Daren says he’s also enjoyed mentoring younger members in the industry. 

And he has some advice to pass on. 

“One of the best things someone told me, earlier in my career, was to “not continually try and climb ladders. ‘Excel at what you do, and you’ll get well recognised and rewarded, but don’t forget to look after your family life’.”

With nine grandchildren, and a new built home in Methven still requiring landscaping, Daren is not going to be short of something to do anytime soon. His retirement will also give him a chance to indulge his wide-ranging hobbies including; car club, tramping, hunting, his classic caravan, and enjoying his recently purchased season ski pass.

The team at ADAMA want to say, ‘thank you’ for all the support and knowledge you have shared over the years and wish you all the best in your next adventure.