Jordan Carrol, orchard and harvest manager at CentralPac, has won the 2021 Central Otago Young Grower of the Year competition.
"What we do really matters. We need all the people we can to make the most of the horticulture industry," Carrol said.
"The world needs more and more food. Growing requires so much commitment and you have to be there. But the feeling is also just so insanely satisfying."
Carrol will represent Central Otago at the national Young Grower of the Year competition in Wellington on September 22-23, where six other regional finalists will compete for their share of $30,000 in prizes.
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Horticulture New Zealand President, Barry O'Neil said the competition played an important role in supporting the next generation of growers and industry leaders.
"With the rapid rate of change and challenges facing the industry, we need to support these talented young growers," he said.
Competitions like this gave young growers invaluable experience to help start their careers in the industry, O'Neil said.
"The horticulture industry has a lot of offer. It's a rewarding career for those who want to help feed New Zealand and the world healthy food, and help the industry to meet environmental and climate adaptation goals."
The competition showcased some of the sector's top talent and was a chance to celebrate their success and support the industry's rising talent, O'Neil said.