Hamish Gates from Pukekohe is the 2015 Young Grower of the Year, winning the national competition after being named the 2015 New Zealand Young Vegetable Grower in April.
Hamish, 24, who works for AS Wilcox & Sons in Pukekohe, says winning the national title is an honour given the standard of the competition.
Hamish Gates is the 2015 Young Grower of the Year.
“I feel really privileged to have won the competition. The other growers are at the top of their game and it was a tough challenge, so I am proud to be able to take this award back to Pukekohe.
“I learned a lot from the competition and have gained a huge amount of confidence in my ability as a grower. Hopefully my success will encourage other young people from across New Zealand to get into this great industry.
“A lot of generous support makes Young Grower of the Year possible. The competition really fosters young talent in horticulture and shows the value it adds to our industry,” says Hamish.
The final phase of the competition saw five regional champions battle it out in a series of practical and theoretical challenges that tested their essential industry knowledge and skills.
Julian Raine, President of Horticulture New Zealand, says the competition demonstrates the high calibre of ability in the country.
“We have come to expect an outstanding level of talent in the competition and this year’s finalists were no exception. The knowledge and skills Hamish showed throughout the competition clearly demonstrated his ability to succeed in this industry.
He gave each challenge his all, and it was this commitment that helped him come out on top.”