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Asparations for success

Asparagus and dairying aren’t industries you think of as working hand-in-hand. But an innovative family has made it work and say the two businesses complement each other nicely. Geoff and Liz Lewis started growing asparagus in 1981 and their business, Tendertips, is now one of the main asparagus producers in the country, supplying major supermarkets and selling through their packhouse ... Read More »

Vincent Borgers – Data systems analyst

A university degree with a mixture of plant biotechnology and computer studies has been a winning mix for Vincent Borgers who uses both his strengths in his role with Plant and Food as a data systems analyst, creating a system to efficiently record and access data on kiwifruit cultivars. Job opportunities are broad for people graduating with agricultural or horticultural ... Read More »

Mike Winter – Vineyard assistant manager

Some might say Mike Winter has had a lucky run moving from Lincoln University graduate to assistant manager of a large Central Otago vineyard in just over three years. But as Lynda Gray discovered he’s done the hard yards and recently tested – and proved – his mettle in a national viticulture contest. Pruning vines on a frigid Central Otago ... Read More »

Liza Whalley – Cut flower exporter

Liza Whalley was born with green fingers – and possibly thumbs – although as a kid, training dogs was what she wanted to do with her life. With two horticulturally trained and green career-focused parents, her blood runs green, so it was perhaps inevitable that in her Bachelor of Science degree, the horticultural elective papers would win out over the ... Read More »

Matt Barbour – Cellar Hand

Young Country contributor Annabelle Latz also works as a cellar hand at New Zealand Wineries in Marlborough, and headed over to the Hunter Valley, NSW, to take part in a grape vintage earlier this year. Just down the road she found fellow Kiwi cellar hand Matt Barbour working at First Creek Wines. Despite the world of winemaking being busy, they ... Read More »

Ben Smith – Procurement and Technical Glasshouse Manager

There’s no downside to entering a competition, according to Ben Smith. Ben, 32, works as the Procurement and Technical Glasshouse Manager for Turners & Growers in Pukekohe. He won the NZ Young Vegetable Grower and Young Grower of the Year competitions in 2011 at his first crack and went on to win the overall Young Horticulturist of the Year contest ... Read More »

Kelly Jean Kerr – Landscape architect

Kelly Jean Kerr loves gardening so much that when Young Country called to chat about her winning the Young Horticulturist of the Year she was spending her day off weeding her garden. Kelly Jean doesn’t get much time to spend in her own garden – her busy job as a Wanganui garden centre team leader and landscape architect keeps her ... Read More »

Nathan Flowerday – Zespri Director

A common term used by businesses today is ‘succession planning’ and that extends to getting some young blood sitting around board tables. At only 35, Nathan Flowerday has been elected as the youngest representative on Zespri’s Board of Directors. He believes there are going to be a lot more opportunities for the younger generation to represent industries at the governance ... Read More »

Alex Harper – Marketing assistant/app creator

When Alex Harper, 23, started work as the marketing assistant and graphic designer for Morton Estate Wines he realised quickly there was no one central place for people to get information about wine. “The day I started at Morton Estate and my boss told me how important it was to have all the tasting notes and other information on the ... Read More »

Caine Thompson – Viticulturist

Hawke’s Bay viticulturist Caine Thompson exudes quiet confidence and there’s no masking his determination to succeed. Coming second doesn’t sit well on his shoulders. The self-described perfectionist was determined to win the 2009 regional final of the Young Viticulturist of the Year after a close call in 2008. He went on to win the nationals, then the coveted title of ... Read More »