Regan Judd – the 25-year-old orchard manager at T&G Global who won the 2021 Hawke's Bay Young Fruitgrower of the Year competition for the second time – won the Ballance Outstanding Leadership Award at the Young Grower of the Year final, earlier this month.
‘I was pretty stoked to win the leadership award, given such a strong group of competitors,’ says Regan.
‘I focused on what our industry needs to do to respond to changing consumer preferences. Today’s consumers want sustainability and to know the story behind what they are eating.
‘As an industry, it is really important for us to get our message across and if we stuff up, own up to it and show how we are working to improve on how we grow.’
Regan says competing in the Young Grower has helped him to broaden his horizons.
‘I’ve learnt a heap of new things and have meet a bunch of new people. The competitions have taken me out of my comfort zone and that’s when you learn a lot.
‘I’d like to encourage young people in the industry to enter the competition, for the same reasons.’
Looking immediately ahead, Regan says he will be focusing on his new role.
‘I plan to keep learning and at the same time, help my team to grow.
‘If you do the mahi, horticulture offers you endless opportunities, especially if you like the outdoors and working with people.
‘That’s what got me here in the first place!’