Tutor rewarded by those ‘light bulb’ moments
A self-confessed tree hugger, Gordon Reid is a driving force in educating Hawke’s Bay’s fruit-growing sector workers.
The Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association recently saluted the achievements of the EIT lecturer in horticulture, awarding him the Joe Bell Trophy for service to the industry.
Association president Lesley Wilson said Reid epitomised the tireless work ethic associated with Joe Bell.
Growing up on his parent’s orchard in York Road on the outskirts of Hastings, Reid felt the land was in his blood. But as the youngest of four children, he didn’t anticipate a future working in the family business.
After leaving school, he studied geography, then a master’s degree majoring in physical geography.
He taught high school students for 16 years, then turned his hand to growing asparagus and tomatoes commercially for 12 years.
In 2003 he moved to EIT, combining his passions for horticulture and seeing students succeed.
‘‘I love the teaching side of things,’’ he said. ‘‘Seeing the light bulb moments is so rewarding.’’ Reid coordinates the three-year National Certificate in Horticulture Production programme with trainees employed on orchards and vineyards.
They attend EIT 12 to 14 days a year for block course study.
A record 75 trainees enrolled last year compared to the 20 students Reid taught when he started the job.
This year, student numbers were expected to reach 85, a measure of the strength of Hawke’s Bay’s fruit growing sector.
The training scheme was a threeway success story for EIT, participating grower-trainers and fulltime orchard and vineyard workers.
And it was one of many factors underpinning the region’s dynamic fruit-growing industry.
Reid believed the training offered in Hawke’s Bay provided a good model for other fruit-growing areas and primary industries.
A similar scheme was now being considered for EIT Tairawhiti and fruit growers in the East Coast area.
Gordon Reid has been teaching at EIT since 2003.