Heather Feetham, a 25-year-old production manager at T&G Fresh, has won the 2021 Pukekohe Young Grower competition.
“We’ve gone all out to ensure that this year’s conference features demonstrations of technology that can help growers tackle some of the challenges that they face,’ says Horticulture New Zealand chief executive, Mike Chapman.
“From biological control products for crop protection to robots for asparagus harvesting and greenhouse spraying, they will all be demonstrated during the morning of second day of the conference.
“We have several demonstrations lined up. This is in addition to a biosecurity response stimulation, and field trips to Zealong Tea Plantation and Hill Laboratories.
“In other words, this year’s conference will not only feature great local and international speakers, it will be highly interactive, taking advantage of the Mystery Creek venue and its location.”
The conference, to be held between 31 July and 2 August at Mystery Creek, Hamilton, has the theme “Our Food Future”.
While demand for healthy, New Zealand grown food is high, the challenges that growers face are significant as they battle for land to grow on, access to water, and capable people to help the industry thrive.
The conference will focus on solutions, several of which need to be found fast. Some solutions will come from better collaboration while others will come from being creators and early adopters of science, technology and innovation.