Regan Judd was crowned Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year in 2019, and with entries closing in just over a month, his advice to those contemplating about entering, is ‘just do it!’
Studying horticulture at University helped steer Regan to a role as Senior Leading Hand at T & G Pipfruit, but he entered the competition to give himself the opportunity to meet other like-minded people and to test his skills and knowledge.
“The competition showed me where my strengths were, and what I needed to work on. But the biggest takeaway was the connections I made throughout the local industry, connections that will no doubt influence me as I continue my career.
It is a great environment to meet new people and learn new things. Both through the Competition, and through the new connections you make along the way. It is an extremely rewarding experience, one that will open doors to create a great future for yourself in the horticulture industry,” said Judd.
Eight contestants are tested on a range of theoretical and practical challenges on the first day of activities and are then asked to present a speech at the dinner on the following night. The winner then goes on to represent Hawke’s Bay at the Young Grower of the Year final later in the year.
“The Young Grower competitions helped me to appreciate just how exciting our industry is. The opportunity to get to know other young growers from across the country has helped to understand why I do what I do and helped me enjoy it even more.
Winning the title also gave me the opportunity to join the Executive International Horticultural Immersion Programme (Executive IHIP) where we travelled to Europe in early 2020. It opened up my eyes to horticultural practises on the other side of the world. The influence all this has had on my career is massive, it has provided me with a great path to grow my knowledge and to step up in an exciting industry,” said Judd.
Entries close on the 30th April. For more information and to complete the application form online https://hbfa.co.nz/yfoty-contestant-entry-form-2021/