Massey alumna named Young Fruit Grower of the Year

Erin Atkinson, Horticulture New Zealand's Young Fruit Grower of the Year.

Massey alumna Erin Atkinson has been named Horticulture New Zealand's Young Fruit Grower of the Year.

Ms Atkinson represented her province proudly in the nationals in Christchurch last night, becoming the first woman to win the title in the 11 years it has been run.

Ms Atkinson, a technical advisor for the Apata Group, graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science (horticulture) and cemented her place in the final when she was crowned Bay of Plenty’s Young Grower of the Year in February.

But the road to the crown was no easy feat, as finalists made their way through a mixture of business and practical activities throughout the day. For her efforts, Ms Atkinson also took Countdown Best Business title, SPS Best Innovation title.

​Even the awards dinner was a test for the finalists.They were tasked with giving a speech on biosecurity, and Ms Atkinson also took top honours in this. 

She will now go on to represent the fruit and vegetable sectors at the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November.

The national Young Grower of the Year competition is an annual competition run by Horticulture New Zealand to select the finest young fruit or vegetable grower in the country. The competition is part of Horticulture New Zealand’s strategy to support the growth and development of New Zealand’s future horticultural leaders.