Monday, 25 January 2021 13:55

Young Grower competition entrants announced

Written by  Staff Reporters
2021 Bay of Plenty Young Grower competition entrant Quintin Swanepoel. 2021 Bay of Plenty Young Grower competition entrant Quintin Swanepoel.

A diverse group of eight young growers have stepped up to compete for the title of 2021 Bay of Plenty Young Grower of the year.

The competition, which also accepts participants from the Northland region, is now in its 14th year.

2021 contestants span from Katikati to Opotiki and include one entrant from Pukekohe.

Despite the Te Puke A&P Show not being held this year, the competition day will still take place at the Te Puke A&P Showgrounds on Thursday, 18 February.

From competitors will undertake a range of horticultural related theory tests and practical modules.

Following the day event there will be a Gala Dinner and Awards Evening at Zespri International, Mount Maunganui, where the young growers will participate in a speech competition, with the final winner announced at the end of the evening’s proceedings.

Contestants will have the opportunity to compete for the title of the 2021 Bay of Plenty Young Grower and additional prizes will be up for grabs for runners up and the winners of each module.

The 2021 winner receives a media and presentation development course in Auckland, and will travel to Wellington to represent the Bay of Plenty in the 2021 national final of the NZ Young Grower on 22 & 23 September.

The 2021 Bay of Plenty Young Grower competition aims inspire and acknowledge the talents of young people in the fruit and vegetable sectors.

Last year, Melissa van den Heuvel secured the title of the 2020 Bay of Plenty Young Grower.

“It’s a great promotion of what the horticulture industry has to offer and provides the opportunity for young people to share their passion, knowledge and skills. It is also a great way for the younger generation to be empowered, and to promote the industry and opportunities within it to others looking for future careers.”

This year’s crop of young growers come from an array of backgrounds:

  • Katherine bell runs a Katikati grower group to facilitate discussion on orchard topics, with the hope that the sharing of knowledge amongst growers will improve their yield and OGR.
  • Yvette Jones’ accomplishments include helping to identify unusual vine symptoms that led to kiwifruit trunk disease research.
  • Trevor McDonald has achieved Punchbowl’s most improved orchard for the 2020 harvest.
  • Aurora McGee-Thomas has broken major industry stereotypes by doing a male-dominated job, showing other women there is a place for them in any role in horticulture.
  • Bryce Morrison’s achievements include the Gold Futures and Cut it Out projects, which helped the industry better understanding and manage PSA.
  • Quintin Swanepoel has conducted vital research on industrial hemp cultivators and continues to contribute to the hemp industry by providing support and sharing his knowledge.
  • Emily Woods’s determination helped her successfully co-ordinate Apata’s harvest at their Turntable site in a season of uncertainty.


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