Nelson grower heads to nationals


Nelson’s top young horticulture talent is set to battle it out next week for the title of Young Grower of the Year.
Canaan Balck from Waimea Plains, triumphed over four local young fruit growers to be crowned the Nelson Young Fruit Grower last month. The block manager from Hoddy’s Orchard will be looking to impress judges as he goes up against three other fruit growers and one vegetable grower for the national title, during the final, run by Horticulture New Zealand in Christchurch on August 13.
Canaan and the young fruit grower finalists from Otago, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay will also be competing for the Young Fruit Grower of the Year title.
“Once again, the competition has attracted an incredible degree of talent. We can’t wait to see the range of skills and knowledge the competitors will bring to this year’s final,” says Julian Raine, President of Horticulture New Zealand.
“Now in its seventh year, the Young Grower of the Year competition continues to be about supporting young people in the horticulture industry and recognising their exceptional abilities. It gives us huge confidence in the future of the industry and no matter what the outcome, each finalist has such a promising career ahead of them. We are looking forward to seeing what they do on the day.”
Four regional Young Fruit Grower winners and the national Young Vegetable Grower 2015 will face each other in the final which will feature a series of practical and theoretical challenges, designed to replicate those faced in an orchard or on-farm working environment.
The finalists also take part in a leadership panel-discussion, before delivering a speech in front of the judges at a dinner event, where the winner is announced.