Regan Judd has won the Hawke's Bay Young Fruitgrower of the Year for the second time.
The 25-year-old T&G Global orchard foreman won the 2021 competition – qualifying him for the national final in Wellington in September.
Judd also won the 2019 edition of the competition.
The orchard foreman said he was thrilled to have won such a closely contested competition at Showgrounds Hawke's Bay Tomoana.
"The competition was really tough with only a few points in it," he said. "It's so awesome to be able to have another... shot at the national final.
The 2021 national final will take place on September 22 to 23, where Judd and six other regional finalists will compete for their share of $30,000 in prizes.
Hawke's Bay Fruitgrowers Association president Richard Pentreath said all the contestants showed skill and determination over the two-day competition.
"It's been one of the closest competitions we've ever had in the 16 years it's been running," he said.
HortNZ president Barry O'Neil said the 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," he said.
HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman said the competition not only recognises the talent we have in the industry, but to also support and upskill our upcoming young leaders.
"With the high standard of all the contestants, I know that the future of the industry is in good hands," he added.