Developing our

future leaders

Young Grower of the Year is an annual competition to find the best young fruit and vegetable growers in New Zealand.

Since 2007, Horticulture New Zealand has run the annual Young Grower of the Year competition. Young fruit and vegetable growers from around the country compete in regional heats, testing their horticultural skills and knowledge. The winners of the regional competitions then compete in the national final. 

Young Grower pushes contestants out of their comfort zone and teaches them valuable new skills along the way. The competition provides exceptional professional development and networking opportunities, providing a massive career boost to all who enter.


2019 National Finals Recap

The highly anticipated 2019 Young Grower of the Year competition saw our seven finalists from all over NZ battle it out. They took part in a range of business and practical modules throughout the day. 


The 2019 finalists included Alex Ashe, Ellen Watt, Austin Singh Purewal (winner of the Young Vegetable Grower), Regan Judd, Craig Botting, Sam Tietjen, and Jono Sutton (overall Young Grower, and Young Fruit Grower winner). 


Mike Chapman, Chief Executive of HortNZ, gives us a recap of the day, featuring 2018 winner Danni van der Heijden.



Young Grower
of the Year


NZ Young Vegetable Grower


NZ Young
Fruit Grower

$500 each


Best Innovation

Best Practical

Best Business

Best Speech

$1,000 each

For Professional Development


Key Conditions of Entry

  • Must be currently working full time in the fruit or vegetable industry in an organisation that is closely associated with growing.

  • Must be 30 years of age or under as at 31 December.


  • Three years practical work experience in the industry.

  • Must be available to compete in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November on winning the competition.


  • ​Must be a New Zealand citizen or hold a current New Zealand residency permit.


See regional entry forms for more details

2021 Dates

Bay of Plenty

Competition: 13 February 2021

Awards dinner: 17 February 2021

7 May 2021

Central Otago

2021 dates TBC

Hawkes Bay 

Competition: 3 June 2021

Awards dinner: 4 June 2021


2 July 2021


2021 dates TBC

Finalist Training Day

24 - 25 August 2021

National Final

22 - 23 September 2021

22 Sept - Business and Practical modules 

23 Sept - Leadership panel (afternoon)

             - Evening awards dinner

               incl. contestant speeches


National Finals


22-23 September 2021

More details to be announced.

In 2021 we are taking the National Final of Young Grower of the Year to the Capital.

With so much political activity and reform affecting the horticulture industry, it is a prime time to bring the Young Grower competition to within earshot of the Beehive.

The national finals will put the regional finalists to the test. A series of business and practical modules will test their horticultural skills, business knowledge, leadership abilities, and oratory talents. 

Spectators are welcome to attend the business and practical modules that will be held during the day.  The Leadership Panel will be held at an evening Awards Dinner where the winner will be announced.

There will be training days for finalists before the final competition.


Supporter Sponsors

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Amy Miller - Events Manager

Horticulture New Zealand

Level 4, 20 Ballance Street, Wellington 6011

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