Lisa Arnold, an orchard operations assistant at Bostock NZ has emerged victorious against seven other entrants to be named Hawke’s Bay’s Young Fruit Grower of 2018.
The competition took place at the BNZ National Horticultural Field Day in Napier, and saw entrants compete in a series of practical and theoretical challenges designed to test the skills needed to run a successful orchard.
Lisa, the first woman to win the Hawke’s Bay event, and the first organic winner since 2011, said she was incredibly proud to have won.
"It’s a real privilege to represent young women and organic growers in our industry," said Lisa. "I’ll be preparing for the national contest here in Napier in August, and plan on reaching out to different areas of the industry to broaden my horizons before the final.
"I look forward to meeting the other contestants and learning from them."
The competition concluded on Friday night, with speeches from the contestants delivered to a gala dinner full of industry members prior to the announcement of Lisa’s win.Tom Dalziel, foreman at Mr Apple NZ was runner up, and Anthony Taueki, also a foreman at Mr Apple, came third.
The competition continues to show the quality of young people entering the horticulture industry, says Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrower’s Association president Lesley Wilson.
"Lisa has a bright future ahead of her, and shows that there is an influx of clever young people into growing. Hawke’s Bay prides itself on its fruit and its young people; we just need a few more to meet our labour demands. Tonight, we’ve see the best of both worlds.
"They really are the best in the Bay."
Lisa, together with four more regional Young Fruit Growers and two Young Vegetable Growers, will go on to compete for the 2018 Young Grower of the Year title in Napier on 21-22 August.