Three entrants were assessed by the judges [Carol Fraser, Helen van der Werff, Andrew Bowman, Trina Tully and Mark Stevenson] and will be attending Conference in Wellington to compete in a round of activities to determine the winner. The finalists are:
Morgan is 30 and works as a propagator at Tharfield Nursery, Katikati. He started there in 2009 and became a permanent member of staff in 2011. Since 2013 he has been 2IC in the propagation unit and is responsible for sourcing propagation material, and to oversee the spraying for the nursery which is all the more challenging as integrated pest management is used.
Morgan has spent his life involved with the growing of plants, being the son of a nurseryman. He spent a short time at Massy University studying plant physiology and cell science. He aims to be production manager one day and to own his own nursery in the future.
Daniel is production manager at Moores Valley Nurseries, a wholesale retail nursery growing native and exotic trees and shrubs. He manages all production between both the Levin and Wainuiomata nurseries in conjunction with the owner and general manager. This includes propagation through to a ready-to-sell product; planning and managing current lines and introducing new ones; daily management of staff; stock order management and development of the nursery stock and management system; health and safety; deliveries and retail sales and advice.
Daniel is just 21. He started work at MVN 7 years ago and has been full time for four. He has National Certificates Level 4 in Nursery Production and Amenity Horticulture. This year he graduated with a Diploma in Horticulture from Otago Polytechnic.
Jed is 29 and works as Pipfruit Team Leader at Waimea Nurseries, Nelson, where he started five years ago as a nursery assistant. This position makes him responsible for the production and delivery of more than 350,000 apple trees this year. He has the responsibility of managing chip bud propagation and mechanical tree harvest, using a team of up to 16 staff. He has to ensure personnel health & safety standards are met and provide staff development growth and training.
Jed plans to complete his National Certificate Level 4 training within the year, and wants to increase tree production in his area of the nursery to 560,000 trees. Longer term he would like to move into a management role and eventually own his own business.
The contestants will attend Conference in Wellington, starting on Tuesday with a round of practical activities. They also face a computer exercise, an interview with the judging panel and present a 3 minute speech on a pre-selected topic to Conference delegates. And after all the points are added up, the winner will be announced at the Gala dinner and presented with the Young Achiever trophy. We wish them all the very best during the competition.
Many thanks to HortFertplus and Primary ITO for their continued sponsorship of the Young Achiever Award programme. Please support these sponsors wherever you can.