Melissa van den Heuvel, an Industry Systems Associate at NZ Avocado, was been named Bay of Plenty’s Young Grower for 2020 at an awards dinner in Tauranga
The 2020 competition took place at Te Puke Showgrounds, where the eight competitors tested their skills and ability to run a successful orchard in a series of challenges. These were followed by a speech competition discussing ‘how can we as growers be better members of the wider community’ at the gala dinner.
Melissa also excelled in individual challenges, including the Horticultural Biosecurity challenge and Avocado Tree Planting challenge, and especially impressed judges with her speech on passing knowledge to future generations.
Emily Crum came in second place, while Megan Fox was third.
Melissa’s prize includes an all-expenses paid trip to Wellington to compete for the title of national Young Grower of the Year 2020 in August, as well as $1,500 cash.
Melissa entered the BOP Young Fruit Grower competition as she believes it is a great way to further her knowledge about the industry she says she is so fortunate to be a part of.