Young grow­ers event

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

Four of Cen­tral Otago’s best young fruit grow­ers are pre­par­ing to com­pete in this week’s re­gional young fruit grower com­pe­ti­tion in Cromwell.

The com­pe­ti­tion is an an­nual event to find Cen­tral Otago’s best young fruit grower. The win­ner pro­gresses to the na­tional Young Grower of the Year fi­nal, held in Au­gust in Christchurch, where they will com­pete against four re­gional fruit and the win­ner of the young veg­etable grower com­pe­ti­tion for the na­tional ti­tle.

This year’s en­trants in­clude:

❚ Waka Paul, 27, or­chard worker for Park­burn Man­age­ment in Cromwell. As well as be­ing a grower, he is a cham­pion chess player

❚ Adam Low, 26, or­chardist for Lean­ing Rock Cher­ries in Alexan­dra. He is study­ing to­wards his Diploma in hor­ti­cul­ture.

❚ Ben Geaney, 29, or­chardist on his fam­ily farm in Wai­mate. He turned to hor­ti­cul­ture af­ter com­plet­ing a diploma in me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing

❚ Ellen Watt, 21, Qual­ity Con­troller at fam­ily busi­ness Waitaki Or­chards in the Waitaki Val­ley near Kurow. Ellen is also a vol­un­teer for the lo­cal fire brigade. Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Chap­man said the con­tes­tants com­pleted six prac­ti­cal ex­er­cises de­signed to test the skills needed to run a suc­cess­ful or­chard.

That in­cluded demon­strat­ing their knowl­edge of agri-chem­i­cals and com­plet­ing a first aid ex­er­cise.

Prizes in­clude a pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment tour to a grow­ing re­gion of their choice to learn about its hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try, spon­sored by Fruit­grow­ers’ Char­i­ta­ble Trust, $1500 and an all­ex­penses paid trip to com­pete for the na­tional 2017 Young Grower of the Year ti­tle in Au­gust.

The Cen­tral Otago Young Fruit Grower com­pe­ti­tion will be held on Fri­day, May 26 from 11.30am at Otago Polytech­nic’s Cromwell cam­pus. The awards din­ner will fol­low from 6pm at the Moor­ings Restau­rant and Bar at Pisa Moor­ings in Cromwell.

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