Regan Judd, a 25-year-old orchard foreman at T&G Global, has won the 2021 Hawke's Bay Young Fruitgrower of the Year competition for the second time.
"I'm so stoked with the win and how close the competition was. The competition was really tough with only a few points in it,” expressed Judd.
"It's so awesome to be able to have another shot at the national final. The Young Grower competition is an awesome opportunity to learn more and meet a whole lot of people – I'm looking forward to it already."
Judd was also the winner of the 2019 competition and will again represent Hawke's Bay in the national Young Grower of the Year competition. This year's national final is in Wellington on 22-23 September, where six other regional finalists will compete for their share of $30,000 in prizes.
HortNZ President, Barry O'Neil, said that the Young Grower competition plays an important role in supporting the next generation of growers and horticulture industry leaders.
"Each of the eight contestants delivered excellent, insightful speeches on a range of topics covering the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Coming across through all the speeches, it's clear that all the contestants have an amazing future ahead of them as leaders in the industry."
HortNZ Chief Executive Mike Chapman said that it's great to see such talented young leaders coming into the industry.
"It’s great to see such talent coming through the industry. This competition is important to not only recognise the talent we have in the industry but to also support and upskill our upcoming young leaders,” he said.
“With the high standard of all the contestants, I know that the future of the industry is in good hands.”
Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrower’s Association President, Richard Pentreath, said that he’s thrilled with how close the competition was.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic with how the competition went,” said Richard. “All the contestants showed a tonne of skill and determination. It’s been one of the closest competitions we’ve ever had in the 16 years it’s been running. Well done to Regan and all the contestants – we can’t wait to see what they get up to next. They all have bright futures in leadership roles in the industry,” commented Pentreath.
“Thank you to our Platinum sponsors NZ Apples & Pears, Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association and New Zealand Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, and all of our other amazing sponsors who make this event possible.”