WINNER OF THE NZ YOUNG VEGETABLE GROWER OF THE YEAR 2017
South Pacific Seeds (SPS) and ENZA together have been proud sponsors of the Young Vegetable Grower of the Year since its inception some 10 years ago. This year for the first time in the competition’s history, there are two winners of the Young Vegetable Grower of the Year competition: Esteban Ibanez and Gurjant Singh.
The day-long competition in Christchurch saw four entrants compete in a series of practical and theoretical challenges designed to test the skills needed to run a successful vegetable growing business, from pest identification to forklift proficiency and the marketing module run by SPS.
Currently working as a production agronomist for Leaderbrand South Island and with a Bachelor in Agriculture, 30 year old Esteban is all about growing vegetables, and hopes that this win will be a step towards networking with people who share his same goals and ideals.
Gurjant, 27, comes from a farming background in Punjab, India, and moved to New Zealand in 2008, studied Level 4 Horticulture at MIT, and began work at T&G in Favona, where he is now an assistant grower. Gurjant entered the Young Vegetable Grower competition to challenge himself and further his dream of becoming a top grower. Aside from his professional life, Gurjant lists his greatest achievement as becoming a father to his daughter, Amanat.
Esteban and Gurjant, together with four regional Young Fruit Growers, will go on to compete for the final Young Vegetable Grower 2018 title, and the ultimate Young Grower of the Year 2018 title, in Napier on 21-22 August.