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Talented horticulture students and leaders shine in Hawke’s Bay

Posted By HBFA | February 3, 2023

The future of Hawke’s Bay’s horticulture industry was on display at the Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association Industry Awards last night.

The Awards recognise the achievements of students studying at Te Pukenga – the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and Primary ITO, scholarship recipients and contributions to the horticulture sector.

The Emerging Achiever Award was presented to Kurt Livingston, from Fern Ridge Fresh for his demonstrable ability to positively impact horticulture through significant industry immersion and leadership skills that have strengthened not only his capability but his ability to develop and grow industry relationships.

“Kurt has developed strong relationships within the industry” says Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association (HBFA) president, Brydon Nisbet. “He has always made himself available to growers for a chat or orchard walk and participated in any industry meetings, field walks and horticultural field days such is his non-exhaustive quest for knowledge of all things in the pipfruit industry.

“He is always going the extra mile to ensure growers are supported and ensuring added value opportunities are sought and exhausted”.

David Styles, from Hawk Technology, earned the Fourneau Trophy for innovation in horticulture with the development of de-nesters, inserters and robotic packers – technology that is considered world-class and took five years to refine and test.

The Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers Association Charitable Trust, in conjunction with funding from the Horticentre Charitable Trust, also provide 20 scholarships for Hawke’s Bay students working towards their Level 4, or higher, Industry Training Qualification. Excellence among those scholarship recipients was also recognised at the Awards night.

Horticulture New Zealand extension and engagement manager, Kate Longman, presented the HortNZ scholarships to eight Hawke’s Bay students.

“Each year HortNZ selects 30 learners from across the motu who are interested in the fruit or vegetable industry and are undergoing vocational training,” Kate says. “The recipients of these scholarships have demonstrated commitment and skills that HortNZ is proud to support on behalf of growers.

“The next scholarship round is open on our website – applications close 20 March 2023.”

Adam Bourke, formerly from Bostock NZ was awarded the Hawke’s Bay Organic Trainee of the Year Award. The Horrocks Memorial Award for overall excellence in Horticulture was presented to EIT student Lochie Dew and Primary ITO student, Navneet Kaur.

New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc chief executive, Terry Meikle, spoke at the awards ceremony, saying it was great to recognise and celebrate industry excellence.

“These award events are always the highlights in my calendar, as we get a chance to celebrate the future innovators, thinkers and leaders of our industry.”

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