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PSA devastation driver for winning student

PSA devastation driver for winning student

Horticulture student Yvette Jones plans to put her studies to good use. She wants to prevent biosecurity disasters like PSA affecting New Zealand growers.

The 19-year-old bachelor of agricultural science student at Massey University has just won a $2,500 horticultural scholarship from Agcarm to help her do it.

Growing up in the Bay of Plenty, Yvette was surrounded by large horticultural enterprises, experiencing first-hand, the devastation of PSA – a bacterial kiwifruit vine disease first detected in 2010.

“One of the reasons I'm so interested in maintaining New Zealand's biosecurity is to prevent events like this affecting whole communities again. I think the horticulture industry definitely showed resilience in past years as the kiwifruit industry has grown and recovered. Some amazing new research and cultivars have been developed to help growers start over.

Disease spreading in densely farmed areas like the Bay of Plenty was inevitable. Contingency plans should be in place to prevent the spread of disease and help growers respond promptly if their land is compromised. “This is what I would like to develop,” said Yvette.

Her passion for horticulture developed while at school and when conducting research for the Manuka Research Group project which aims to grow the global potential of New Zealand’s honey industry. The experience gave her a taste for research and urged her to pursue a Masters or PhD.

Yvette is keen to promote horticulture as an option to prospective students. Horticulture is an important industry in New Zealand and Yvette says is it undervalued as a profession. “Not many people know of the options available to horticulturalists. Working on the field is not the only possibility. There are many career options.” Yvette said.

Outside of her studies, Yvette enjoys quilting, cross-stitching and netball.

Yvette receives her award from Massey University vice-chancellor, Steve Maharey

Agcarm chief executive, Graeme Peters, said the association is pleased to contribute toward the future of such a bright and enthusiastic student.

“Yvette’s application was of a very high calibre. We were impressed with her ideas as well as the dedication and leadership potential she demonstrated in her application. Her passion for horticulture is obvious,” Mr Peters said.

Agcarm has two scholarships to support education and raise awareness about careers in Agcarm-related industries. The winner of the veterinary science scholarship is Hannah MacPherson. The media release is available at:

Agcarm is an industry association of companies which manufacture, distribute and sell products that keep animals healthy and crops thriving.

Industry initiatives led by Agcarm include providing safe and sustainable animal health and crop protection technology for the future of New Zealand, and educating the community about the industry’s contribution.


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