Monday, 28 February 2022 09:09

Rhys Hall crowned Young Horticulturist 2021

Written by  Staff Reporters
2021 Young Horticulturist of the Year Rhys Hall. 2021 Young Horticulturist of the Year Rhys Hall.

For the third consecutive time, a viticulturist has won the Young Horticulturist competition.

Blenheim’s Rhys Hall, 28, who works in Waihopai Valley as assistant vineyard manager for Indevin, took out the top title after intense competition that ended Wednesday 23 February.

Hall has worked for Indevin for five years, starting as a vineyard producer, then viticulture technician before being promoted to his current job two years ago.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in plant science from Massey University.

In winning the award, Hall follows in the footsteps of Simon Gourley, and before that, Annabel Bulk. Both those viticulturists were based in Central Otago when announced as competition winners.

At the 2021 final, Danielle McBride was announced as second place getter, with Tim Cooper in third place.

McBride, of Mangawhai, was the NZ Plant Producers Industry Young Achiever representative.

Cooper, of Dunedin, represented the Young Amenity Horticulture Sector.

Speaking immediately after the announcement, Hall says he is really happy a lot of hard work pays off.

He says he suspects some of his colleagues would enjoy a celebratory bottle of wine.

Hall says his prize money will help toward a trip to France he has planned for July this year.

“I am taking annual leave to visit vineyards, learn more about the wine, and see how other people are producing around the world. It will be a very educational experience, I am sure. I am so excited,” he says.

He was full of praise for the competition and event organisers and many supporters.

“The trust is doing an amazing job and I really appreciate that this competition exists for young people to develop them and I hope it inspires other young people to join the horticulture sector,” he says.

Hall receives a winner’s trophy as well as a $7,500 travel accommodation or professional development package; $1,000 ICL Specialty Fertilisers; one-year membership of The New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Scients; an AEG 18V 12” Brushless Chainsaw; and an AEG 18V 4 piece Fusion Kit.

Full List of Winners

2021 Young Horticulturist of the Year:

First Place: Rhys Hall

Second Place: Danielle McBride

Third Place: Tim Cooper

Countdown Innovation Award

First Place: Danielle McBride

Second Place: Rhys Hall

Third Place: Tim Cooper

Fruitfed Supplies Leadership Award

Danielle McBride

Countdown Best in Sector Award

Rhys Hall

Horticentre Trust Community Engagement Award

Rhys Hall

Bayer Best Practice Award

Rhys Hall

RNZIH Best Speech Award

Rhys Hall

T&G Fresh Practical Components Award

Rhys Hall

Primary ITO Career Development Award

Hayden Parker

Coundown Award

Rudrik Tripathi

Martin Manea

Hayden Parker

Danielle McBride

Rhys Hall

Tim Cooper

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