The Bay of Plenty team had an fantastic day supporting the participants in the Young Grower competition 2023. It is encouraging to think about the capable next generation of growers who will be safeguarding the future of New Zealand’s horticultural industry.

The competition day took place at Mount Maunganui College, where competitors were put through their paces in a range of practical and theoretical challenges. This included a test on biosecurity threats to New Zealand, creating an irrigation plan for a avocado orchard, pitching an innovative idea in front of a panel, identifying different cultivars of fruit and vegetables as well as the backing up a tractor trailer.

At the evening dinner, which is the highlight of the industry calendar every year, the competitors participated in a speech competition. The topic this year was “If you were made Prime Minister, what would you do to help the horticultural industry” and all speeches were certainly impressive, to say the least – the judges would have had a tough job!

But at the end of the day, there can only be one winner. Sydney Hines, from Sybton Horticulture, came out on top at winner for 2023. Sydney’s speech about the use of biotechnology and genetic research to ensure that the New Zealand horticultural industry would be able to stay innovative and ahead of the game globally was an bold and interesting take on what the government could be doing to help growers in New Zealand. Now Sydney continues on to compete in the National Final which takes place in October.

The team at Fruition BOP was also extremely proud of our former student, Jack Tortoiseshell, who won the Orchard Performance Report Category, sponsored by Mayston Partners. Jack studied with Fruition after finishing school and has gone from strength to strength in his career as a orchard manager with DMS Progrowers. 

Did you know Fruition offers two diplomas that allow you to study while you work? Whether you are wanting to learn more about horticulture or are already working in the industry and want to advance your career, we can help. Click here to find out more.