Brett Parker of Pukekawa is the 2014 New Zealand Young Vegetable Grower, after beating six fellow competitors at the national competition in April.
Held in Pukekohe, the day-long event saw seven contestants from around New Zealand go head-to-head in a series of theoretical and practical challenges needed to run a successful vegetable-growing business.
Brett, 26, works at Hinemoa Quality Producers in Pukekawa as an assistant crop manager, and won $1500 cash, $1000 for professional development and a field trip to visit other vegetable producers.
Brett also won a one-day media and presentation course in Wellington, an all-expenses paid trip to Christchurch to compete for the national 2014 Young Grower of the Year title in August, and attendance to the 2015 Horticulture New Zealand Conference.
“I’m glad I got to compete against six other young vegetable growers who really knew their stuff. The level of skill I had to beat was incredible, and we all went above and beyond to showcase the skills you need to be a good grower,” says Brett.
“Competing for the Young Grower of the Year title in August will certainly be a step up from this; and I’m definitely going to use the next few months to make sure I’m as prepared as I can be to give it my best shot.”
Andrew Hutchinson, 26, from Pukekohe was placed second and Herman Fourie, 27, from Mangere placed third.