Jordon Carrol, orchard and harvest manage at CentralPac, has won the 2021 Central Otago Young Grower of the Year competition, held at the Otago Polytech, Bannockburn Road campus last Friday.
Competitors were put through their paces through a series of activities: irrigation, sponsored by Water Force; Callibration and Fertigation, sponsored by Fruitfed Supplies; Pest and Disease, sponsored by Horticentre; Tractor and Machinery, sponsored by Norwood; First Aid sponsored by St Johns/FMG; Soils and Fertiliser, sponsored by Farmlands Co-operative.
Then there were Hortisports – a fun series of activities at the end of the day, to help competitors to relax after a full day of competition, before the evening of speeches at the gala dinner and awards ceremony.
Grant McKay, Regional Manager of Horticentre and event organiser, says,
“It was a great day that was keenly contested. Some of the units were very challenging by design, as we like to test their abilities in a competitive environment.
All the contestants should be very proud of their efforts and we hope it will inspire others in future to enter and build their skills and leadership qualities.”
Jordan is delighted to win the competition, saying,
“I feel privileged to have been awarded the trophy.
It was good to be recognised by the industry and I now have an exciting path forward.”
Growing up in Alexandra and attending Dunstan High School, Jordan worked in orchards during his school and territory studies summer holidays.
He gained a Diploma in Industrial Design in Wellington, but his holiday employer, Tim Hope, talked to him about the opportunities available to him through a career in horticulture. Thanks to Tim’s encouragement, Jordan took up an apprenticeship, and they now work together at CentralPac.
“It was a really good day, doing the activities that we deal with every day. I found it very interesting, and it was great to meet other local people in the industry,” says Jordan, adding,
“I am sure now that we will stay in touch.”