Jono Sutton has won the Nelson Young Fruitgrower of the Year for 2019.
He will go on to represent the fruit and vegetable sectors at the Young Grower of the Year competition in Tauranga on 1-2 October, where contestants will compete for their share of $40,000 worth of prizes.
Nelson Young Fruitgrower of the Year Coordinator, Richard Clarkson, said his focus has always been on education.
"I get a lot of satisfaction from working with the young growers to inspire and challenge them to prosper. It's great being involved in their careers, helping them grow their potential, and motivating them to move to the next level".
The Young Grower of the Year is an annual competition run by Horticulture New Zealand to find the best young fruit or vegetable grower in the country.
"The talent of young people entering the horticulture industry is superb" said Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
"Horticulture offers very varied and rewarding career paths as well as tremendous challenge, thanks to changing on-farm and consumer demands. This is why it is crucial that we attract young people to the horticulture industry, nurture their talent and celebrate their success".
Finalists are made up of the winners of the six regional Young Grower competitions held in Pukekohe, the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Central Otago.
This year in Nelson, the contestants were:
- Vanita Wijong, Thawley's Orchard
- Kirsten Ellmers, Fruitfed Suppliers
- Jono Sutton, Eden Road Fruit (winner)
- Nicole Jackman, Vailima Orchards
- Jess Charles, Ashton Woods
- Sam Goble, Kono
- Daniel Thomas, Thomas Brothers Orchard
The next regional competition is in Gisborne on 11 July.