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Call for growers

The Tairawhiti-Gisborne Young Grower 2021 event will take place again this year and organisers are keen to hear from potential contestants.

The event will be held on Thursday, July 8 at Kaiaponi Farms and would-be contestants have until June 30 to submit their applications.

“Contestants need to be under 30 years of age and be working in horticulture in the Tairawhiti district,” contest organiser Sonia McAllister said.

This year the competition will include entrants from the fruit and vegetable sectors for the first time.

“It is a fun day out and an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the home-grown talent we have here” she said.

“The Young Grower competition is a chance to push contestants out of their comfort zone and test their growing knowledge in a setting outside of their usual workplaces.”

“Competitors will cover a range of challenges, testing their practical skills and theoretical knowledge.”

For those who enter it can open up a network of opportunities, including professional and personal career development, Mrs McAllister said.

“The winner will go on to represent our region at the national Young Grower event later this year.

“There are seriously good prizes at stake as well as the opportunity to learn.”

A gala dinner will be held on the evening of July 8 at The Vines.

“All growers are welcome to attend to celebrate and be entertained by short speeches from our contestants.”

Anyone wanting tickets to the dinner can contact Natalya Egan at nat@growing.co.nz

“Growers and colleagues are invited to attend the day-long competition, which begins at 9.30am.

“Come along and support your employees or mates. There will also be the opportunity to give some of the challenges a go yourself,” Mrs McAllister said.

“There are great and exciting opportunities in Tairawhiti for anyone interested in horticulture, from the science of growing to computing and robotics . . . or just the simple satisfaction of growing fresh and healthy produce.”

• For more information on entry or sponsorship contact scott.wilson@kaiaponi.co.nz or sonia.mcallister@thltd.co.nz

Previous winners of the event were Sam Tietjen in 2019 and Matt Gowen in 2018.

LAST TIME: The Young Grower event was called off last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, but in 2019 it was very well supported. From left, Sam Tietjen, Roy Johnson, Cain Lundon, Reece Brew, Sonia Holland, Megan Becker, Jacob Harrison, Aimee Lister and Cody Clark. Picture by Strike Photography