HortFert Young Achiever Award 2013

Untitled Document

The 2013 HortFert Young Achiever

At Queenstown's June conference our four finalists were put through their paces - Congratulations to Kelly Jean Kerr - 2013's HortFert Young Acheiver

Kelly Jean works at Springvale Garden Centre in Wanganui, where her official role is Senior Sales Assistant/Landscape Designer/weekend Duty Manager. She started employment at Springvale in 2009, providing a landscape design service [she has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Lincoln]. She trained as a sales assistant and eventually became involved with the management of the garden centre. Kelly Jean was a finalist in last year’s competition and has spent the past year upgrading her skills and commenced a National Certificate in Horticulture (Level 4) in Landscaping. She’d like to do a National Diploma in Horticulture at Royal Botanic Gardens in England and eventually be a store manager of a Springvale Garden Centre in another North Island city.

Our other finalists

Jesse Benjamin [photo]
Jesse is the Ornamental Field Team Leader at Waimea Nurseries in Nelson. He runs a crew of up to 12 nursery workers and is responsible for the open ground specialist growing program involving some 30,000 ornamental and 30,000 fruit trees. He has worked at Waimea for 4 years, progressing through the ranks, and he has gained National Certificate in Horticulture Levels 1 to 3. Jesse is committed to building strong relationships with clients and providing the best possible all-round customer service through his knowledge and understanding of the crops he grows.

Hamish McLean [photo]
Hamish works for the family owned company Grower Technology which gives him the opportunity to be involved with all aspects of the business. He is production manager of the potting mixes and blended nutrients, and does quoting and installation of the nursery systems the business sells. Hamish intends to continue to enjoy the thrills and challenges his current role provides while further developing relationships in the industry and aiming towards building and owning his own enterprise.

Ben Jones [photo]
Ben is Production Manager with Lyndale Nurseries Auckland, after starting there early 2012, where is his main role is to oversee the potting and outside production staff. Ben started his career in England and has a National Diploma in Arboriculture and Tree Care and BSc (Hons) degree in Sustainable Land Management. Bens foreseeable plans are to continue with Lyndale Nurseries, focusing on generating high standards and implementing some ideas from his degree studies, around the nursery.

These four now face a full day of competition prior to Conference where they must complete a computer skills exercise, compete in a range of practical tasks, and face an interview with the judges. Then, on the Thursday morning during breakfast they will 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 Awards dinner and presented with the HortFert Trophy. We wish them all the very best during the competition.

More information from Frances Palmer – frances@nginz.co.nz