A massive congratulations to Lydia O'Dowd of Southern Woods Nursery in Christchurch who came third place in the Young Horticulturalist competition last week.
Lydia, who competed against six other competitors representing various horticultural sectors, was also named the Countdown Innovation Project winner and won the RNZIH Best Speech Award. She took home over $10,000 in prizes.
Lydia is Head Propagator at Southern Woods nursery and is passionate about sustainability and finding alternatives to agrichemicals such as natural insecticides. Her Young Hort innovation project was on this topic.
Held in November each year in Karaka, the Young Horticulturist Competition is a two-day grand final that brings together the best young talent in horticulture. Finalists are tested on their horticultural practical skills, leadership ability, speechcraft, business acumen, and industry knowledge.
The top three places went to women this year with Nelson orchardist Meryn Whitehead coming first and Renee Johnson, representing the amenity horticulture sector, finishing in second place.
Well done Lydia - you've done our industry proud!