Grant McKay, of Cromwell, would like to hear from young horticulturists and viticulturists who wish to help re-establish the Central Otago Young Growers Group.

Mr McKay said the discussion group, which had 45 members, had been in hiatus for nearly a year because organisers and members had other commitments.

However, he was keen to restart it as it was an ideal vehicle for young people who wished to learn more about their respective industries.

''It will get young people together as well as encourage them to participate in the young grower and young aviculturist of the year competitions,'' he said.


He encouraged those working in both the horticulture and viticulture industries to join.

''It will be good to get a cross-pollination of ideas, taking ideas from one sector to the other.''

During meetings the group visited other orchards, vineyards and wineries, or had guest speakers.

''It is also for young people who want to network, and such a group tends to bind people together.''

In addition, the discussion group highlighted the various career pathways available to young people in both sectors.

Mr McKay is the new regional manager of Horticentre Cromwell, and during the store's official opening last Friday, he and this year's Central Otago Young Grower of the Year competitor Hamish Darling, and 2015 competition entrant James Huffadine, spoke to potential members.

Mr McKay said he was quite happy to support the group but was keen to see members take on organising and committee roles.

''I'd like to see one of the members put their hands up to be a chair and form a committee.


''They can lead it and I will be in the background.''

He can be contacted on 0275 348-629 or

-By Yvonne O'Hara

Southern Rural Life