Pukekawa crop manager Brett Parker was crowned the New Zealand Young Vegetable Grower after beating six other competitors at the national competition yesterday.
During the day-long event, held in Pukekohe, the field of seven contestants took part in a series of theoretical and practical challenges needed to run a successful vegetable growing business.
Parker, 26, works at Hinemoa Quality Producers in Pukekawa as an assistant crop manager and his prize package includes a field trip to visit other vegetable producers.
He also won a one-day presentation course in Wellington, an all-expenses paid trip to Christchurch to compete for the national 2014 Young Grower of the Year title in August and will attend the 2015 Horticulture New Zealand Conference.
Parker said the level of skill among the competitors was more than he had imagined and he was pleased to have performed so well.
"Competing for the Young Grower of the Year title in August will certainly be a step up from this, and I'm definitely going to use the next few months to make sure I'm as prepared as I can be to give it my best shot."
Competition co-ordinator Kiran Hari said the competition demanded a lot from young growers and would help them progress with their careers.
Runner-up was Andrew Hutchinson, 26, from Pukekohe and third placed was Herman Fourie, 27, from Mangere.
- Fairfax Media