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Nursery industry finds Young Achiever 2019

This year the winner of the annual competition is Rico Mannall from Southern Woods nursery in Christchurch. Rico will go on to compete in the Young Horticulturalist competition later this year.
The Horticentre Young Achiever competition recognises excellence in the nursery industry.

The competition ran over two days this week involving a range of activities including plant, pest and disease ID, irrigation programming, plant propagation, human resource management, problem solving tasks and an interview and a speech at the NZ Plant Producers’ gala dinner.

Head Judge Helen van der Werff says it was great to have contestants from a wide variety of backgrounds from seed Eco-sourcing skills, technical backgrounds and business skills.

“It is always close each year, but Rico stood out with exceptional skills across the whole range. We think he has a very good contestant to go forward to the annual horticulturalist of the year competition,” Ms Van der Werff said.

Rico says he was convinced to enter the competition by his manager at Southern Woods nursery and what he really loved most was meeting the other contestants at the competition.

“It felt great to be with other young people in the industry and to gain some skills during the competition from the great mentors in the nursery industry, he said.

“We went to the NZPPI conference too and I was just thrilled to hear about the robotics and agribusiness changes coming for the industry and New Zealand. This was so eye opening that I switched up quite a bit of my speech on the day.”

The two runners up were Ezra Alexander from Nga Rakau Nurseries and Jacob Rados who is a nurseryman for the Department of Conservation.

For more information about the competition visit:

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