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Blue sky thinking from green fingered finalists

Blue sky thinking from green fingered finalists

Ideas that cut the cost of heating propagation beds to grow plants and turn frost fans into power generators are just two of the six projects being developed by the finalists for the Agmardt Market Innovation project in the 2012 Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition. Other innovation ideas include collapsible crates for freighting small plants, an instant rollout flower mat, and a design that takes weeding to a new level.

Six finalists from around New Zealand who have won their industry sector competitions are preparing for the intensive two day competition on November 14 and 15 in Auckland.

“The standard this year is amazing; I think the judges will have difficulty selecting the winner,” says Nicola Rochester, Chair of the RNZIH Education Trust, which manages the competition.

The six sectors that the finalists represent are Floristry, Horticulture, Landscaping, Nursery and Garden, NZ Recreation Association- Amenity Horticulture and NZ Winegrowers.

The competition is similar to the Young Farmer of the Year, with practical, specialist, technical and marketing skills being tested across the two days. Finalists (30 years and under) are competing for a first prize that includes a $7,500 travel and accommodation package, with a second prize of $5,500 Massey University study scholarship and travel.

“There are the tangible rewards, but just as important we find that the networking, experience and further education add so much to the careers of these young achievers,” Nicola explains.

The competition, managed by the RNZIH Education Trust on behalf of the sponsors including Agmardt, Fruitfed Supplies, and Turners and Growers is designed to develop the finalists’ skills and knowledge and enhance their career opportunities in the horticulture industry.

Finalists from previous years have travelled to America, Europe and the UK to broaden their industry experience, returning to apply their learning in New Zealand.

Winners will be announced at the Young Horticulturist of the Year dinner at the Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland on Thursday November 15, 2012.


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