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Latest News / August 17, 2017

BOP Kiwifruit Star Wins Young Grower of the Year

MEDIA RELEASE

 18 August 2017

 BOP Kiwifruit Star Wins Young Grower of the Year

  •  Bay of Plenty horticulturalist wins national final
  • Competition promotes future leaders of horticultural sector

Erin Atkinson, 30, Technical Advisor for Apata Group Limited in Te Puke was crowned Young Grower of the Year in Christchurch last night. Yesterday’s competition involved four business and four practical activities as well as taking part in a panel on a leadership issue. $12,000 of prizes were up for grab. Scott Wilcox from Pukekohe was awarded runner-up. Erin won three of the five sections that the competitors vied in.

To get to the national competition, each of the finalists had to win first place in one of the four regional Young Fruit Grower competitions or the NZ Young Vegetable Grower competition. Erin was the first ever female to win the BOP competition and the only finalist representing the kiwifruit industry in the national competition.

“The regional Bay of Plenty competition and the national finals have been a great opportunity to test my horticulture skills against some of the country’s best”, says Erin. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience from this competition back into the kiwifruit industry”.

NZKGI CEO Nikki Johnson says, “I congratulate Erin and her supporters on winning the Young Grower of the Year competition. It’s great news for the kiwifruit industry that the winner of the BOP final has now gone on to win the national competition.”

A core area of NZKGI’s work is to show how attractive career options are in the kiwifruit industry. Competitions such as the BOP Young Fruit Competition not only showcase the industry’s talented future leaders but also support the development and growth of skilled personnel in the kiwifruit industry.

Erin will now go on to compete for a share of $40,000 worth of prizes in the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition. Competitors in the Young Horticulturalist of the Year are drawn from the winners of the country’s six horticultural competitions: Horticulture NZ (fruit and vegetable sectors), New Zealand Plant Producers Inc., NZ Winegrowers, Amenity Horticulture supported by NZ Recreation Association, NZ Flower Growers Inc. & FLONZI and Landscape Industries Association of NZ (Landscaping NZ).

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