Dani McBride from Rural Design has been named the Plant Producers Young Achiever of the Year 2021 following last week's competition held at Growing Spectrum. Congratulations also goes to runner up, Nathan Hewson from Advanced Hort and Jacinda Harrop from Striks Nurseries who came third.
This year's event included five competitors from around the country and the judges commented on their talent and professionalism, showing that the future of our industry is in good hands. The other contestants were Ezra Alexander from Auckland and Oliver Dean from Nelson.
Growing Spectrum, in the Waikato town of Kihikihi, was the perfect setting for this year's challenges, which covered knowledge and skills in propagation, plant identification, machinery, plant protection, seed sourcing, costings and an interview.
The practical competition was followed by a speech on the topic of producing plants in a low carbon future at the Awards Dinner where the winners were announced. Dani was clearly delighted with her win, joined by her family and the team from Rural Design who travelled down from Northland to support her.
Winning Young Achiever comes with some amazing prizes, including a $3000 education or travel grant. Dani will go on to represent the plant production sector in the national Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition in November.
The Young Achiever competition is open to anyone under the age of 30 that works in our industry. It is an opportunity to test your technical, business and public speaking skills against the best young talent in the industry. Contestants receive an invaluable boost of experience, industry insight and mentorship to advance their career.