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Search on for 2015 Young Horticulturist of the Year

Published: Tue 31 Mar 2015 04:17 PM
Search on for 2015 Young Horticulturist of the Year
A nationwide search begins this week for young men and women who exemplify the leadership qualities that have earned New Zealand’s primary products the trust of consumers all over the world.
Starting this April, young horticultural leaders from every corner of New Zealand will compete in six sector competitions to qualify as a finalist in the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust’s ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 Competition’.
2014 overall winner, Northland orchardist and horticultural business owner, Patrick Malley, believes that despite the ups and downs the primary sector has faced in recent times, New Zealand’s value as a leading producer of primary products comes from the high levels of trust this country’s products enjoy overseas.
“A competition like this is extremely important because our standards of quality, integrity and innovation begin and end with the calibre of people leading the industry now and in the future.
“The ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition’ is not just an important career step for young people, it is vital for New Zealand that we maintain our high levels of new thinking, new talent and new approaches to industry,” said Mr Malley, who runs a Kiwifruit and Avocado orchard, and an orchard management business in Whangarei.
As part of his prize, Mr Malley is preparing to travel to California shortly to study various horticulture industries and markets in that region, particularly in Kiwifruit, Avocado and Citrus.
“They have some challenges around water availability which I am particularly interested in. We don't have that problem yet in New Zealand, but there is potential for it in the future and I want to make sure our business and family are prepared to meet those challenges head on. I also want to meet growers who have a different way of doing things.
“The chance to learn from industry leaders and to network with various influential people in the industry have been huge. My advice is to go for it. You can choose to stay home and do what you’ve always done, or you can grab this opportunity with both hands.
“The competition forces you to re-evaluate yourself, and your position in the industry; to look at your future and the future of the industry and think about how you can affect change and make an impact,” he said.
Chair of The Education Trust, Nicola Rochester, urged young people in the industry to step up and participate in an industry that is rich with opportunities in science, technology, biology and business practise.
“Young Horticulturist of the Year brings out the best in people, and the best of people. Horticulture is one of our country’s leading high value growth industries, which makes this competition important for New Zealand because it puts the best people at the helm.”
The finalists will be drawn from the winners of six horticultural sector competitions:
• Horticulture NZ (fruit and vegetable sectors)
• Nursery and Garden Industry of new Zealand
• NZ Winegrowers
• Amenity Horticulture
• Floriculture NZ Flower Growers Inc.
• Landscaping NZ
Finalists (30 years and under) compete for a prize pool of over $40,000 that includes a $7,500 travel and accommodation package and a $5,500 Massey University study scholarship and travel.
For more information about how to enter, visit www.younghort.co.nz for more information
The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition is made possible through the generous support of: Young Horticulturist of the Year Partners; Fruitfed Supplies, AGMARDT and T
Young Horticulturist of the Year Supporters; Bayer CropScience, Massey University, Primary ITO, Countdown, NZ Gardener Magazine and Trillian Trust.
ends

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