Top young fruit growers will be going head-to-head next week for a chance to win the prestigious title of Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower 2012.
The five men from Te Puke and Tauranga will be competing against one another for the title.
The day-long event will involve several elements, all testing essential and practical skills that a successful fruit grower needs to run a business and productive crops.
The five finalists are Adam Bond (26), Orchard Supervisor for Canon Road Ltd, Katikati and Te Teko; Cody Bent (24), Crop Manager for Satara Co-operative Group, Te Puke; Chris Jennings (21), Spraying Operator at Ranfurly Orchard Services Limited, Te Puke; Tim Webb (30), Deputy Manager for Chilson Hill Orchard, Te Puke and Joel Wanhill (24), General Orchard Worker for the Edkins family kiwifruit orchards, Te Puke.
Mike Chapman from NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated says: “Since the competition began in 2005 the Bay of Plenty competition has gone from strength to strength and this year is no exception.
“This competition helps the regions and Horticulture New Zealand promote excellence within the industry and makes for a really rewarding event.”
Last year’s winner Campbell Wood, from Tauranga, believes this competition brings out the best in young people.
“I really enjoyed my Young Grower experience last year; I really pushed my skills to the limit and got to meet some really great people along with way. Being part of the competition really helped my career and I’m looking forward to seeing what this year’s contestants have to offer.”
This year’s Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition will be held on Wednesday 20 June at Baypark Stadium, Mt Maunganui.
The winner of the Bay of Plenty Fruit Grower competition wins $1,500 and the runner up wins a cash prize of $1,000, with the second runner-up takes home $500. The competition winner will also go on to compete for the national title at the Young Grower of the Year competition being held in Auckland in July at the Horticulture New Zealand Conference.
About the Horticulture New Zealand Young Grower of the Year Competition
The Young Grower of the Year Competition assesses the horticultural skills and knowledge of young fruit and vegetable growers throughout New Zealand. The focus of the competition is to recognise young people working in the horticulture industry, develop their skills, and foster leadership. Participants will compete for a range of awards and trophies, which come with various cash prizes, as well as all expenses paid attendance at the 2012 Horticulture New Zealand Conference and the National Young Horticulturalist of the Year Competition.