Anika Jackson - 2019 finalist

Anika Jackson

The South Island is faring well in the lead up to the 2019 Young Horticulturist Competition, with Dunedin’s Anika Jackson part of the success story.

The 2019 Young Horticulturist competition will be held in November involving six finalists, two of whom have been determined, with both from the South Island.  Christchurch’s Rico Mannall has recently been announced as the second finalist, joining Anika.  The South Island came up trumps last year when Bannockburn viticulturist Annabel Bulk won the competition.

Anika will represent the Young Amenity sector, and Rico the Young Achiever (NZ plant producers) category. Yet to be held are the qualifying competitions for the other sectors: Young Grower, Young Viticulturist, Young Landscaper and Young Florist/floriculturist.

Anika is a Delta gardening team leader who has a strong affinity with plants and the outdoors. A 20-week course with the Department of Conservation embarked her on her career path.

“It totally changed my life. I could finally see the path that been in front of me all along,” says this granddaughter of a daffodil breeder.

Anika also studied sustainable horticulture and landscape construction at Otago Polytechnic and began work at Delta four years ago. She was promoted to leader of a team of eight late last year. The team looks after parks and gardens from Dunedin’s CBD through to Waikouaiti – including the Chinese gardens, Oveston historical house and the Dunedin Railway station gardens.

The 2019 Young Horticulturist Competition has AGMARDT, Countdown, Fruitfed Supplies and T&G as partnering sponsors.

AGMARDT General Manager Malcolm Nitschke says AGMARDT recognises the Young Horticulturist competition truly reflects the diversity of the industry with competing representatives from various sectors.

“AGMARDT is proud to be a significant sponsor of this event, which is a great way to demonstrate to the wider public that there are opportunities for employment and career growth within the horticultural sectors.”

Supporting a competition that encourages young horticulturists across the product and amenity sectors sits well for Fruitfed Supplies says the company’s national manager Max Spence.

“The competition encourages them to challenge themselves, keep learning, develop their own style of leadership and to take pride from their commitment to the horticultural industry that serves NZ well,” he says.

The competition incorporates three main winners, as well as additional prize packages for areas such as innovation, practical components, community engagement and leadership. The total prize pool is more than $50,000.

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Simon Gourley
Young Horticulturist 2019

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