The 2021 Young Horticulturist Competition
The Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Education Trust, are thrilled to announce Rhys Hall as the winner of the 2021 Young Horticulturist Competition!  Also a bit congratulations to all our finalists, they all did an outstanding job in Covid-19, Red Light Setting Competition.

This year we had Six Sector Finalist, including NZ Arboriculture for their first year, competing in the 2021 Competition held on February 22nd & 23rd 2022 at the Karaka Bloodstock, Auckland, this was the event's seventeenth competition.

The competition is seen as a premier event in the Horticulture Industry, usually the Awards Dinner is attended by over 200 guests representing a cross section of the Horticulture Industry including sponsors, suppliers, sector association representatives as well as finalist's employers, friends and family.  However this year due to Covid-19 Red Light restrictions and the Competition having been postponed twice we were finally able to run at a limited compacity, with extra precautionary Health and Safety measures in place, finishing up the 2 Day Competition with a livestream prizegiving.

Results from the 2021 Young Horticulturalist Competition
First - Rhys Hall 
Rhys is the Assistant Vineyard Manager at Indevin- Bankhouse Estate in Marlborough.
Second - Danielle McBride Dani is the Dispatch and Procurement Manager at Rural Design in Northland.
Third - Timmy Cooper Tim is a Horticulturist at Bluestone Gardeners in Dunedin.

The COUNTDOWN Market Innovation Project
First - Danielle McBride.  Dani's project was for an innovative new user-friendly website service 'The Plant Hub' to simplify the sales and procurement process for plant nurseries nationwide.
Second - 
Rhys Hall.  Rhys's technical innovation that solves a clear industry need, a sensor for Machine Harvesting Traceability and Dashboard.
Third - Timmy Cooper. 
 Tim's project was focused on connection Aotearoa's Tamariki to native flora and conservation through a child friendly fun educational pack issued each month.

Other Completed COUNTDOWN Market Innovation Projects
Rudrik Tripathi. 
Rudi's innovation addressed overuse of plastic in the sector and tackled the perennial industry issue of differentiation NZ Flowers from imports.
Hayden Parker.
  Hayden innovation was a tree QR code, traceability tool ready for implementation
Martin Manea.  Martin's innovation was a potential solution for the troublesome issue of trees growing around power lines.

2021 Individual Award Winners

T&G Fresh Practical Activities Award - Rhys Hall. 
Rhys won for the hisgest overall practical activities score during the Grand Final.  Rhys won a $3,500 travel scholarship.

Fruitfed Supplies Leadership Award - Danielle McBride.  Dani won a $2,500 scholarship towards a Leadership or Outward Bound course.

Primary ITO Career Development Award - Hayden Parker.  
Hayden won a $3,000 scholarship to assist with further study or to attend a conference and will be adopted as the "Primary ITO Ambassador" to promote training and career pathways in horticulture.

Bayer Best Practice Award - Rhys Hall. Rhys received the highest score in a range of Grand Final activities with a focus on crop management and sustainability practices, receiving a $2,500 scholarship.

RNZIH Best Speech Award - Rhys Hall.  
Winning a $500 cash award.

Horticentre Trust Community Engagement Award - Rhys Hall.
  Winning a $1,500 cash prize.

Countdown Best in Sector Award - Rhys Hall. 
Winning a $3,000 cash prize.

Countdown Award -
This is a new award in 2018 and each finalist received a $500 award for perseverance and commitment to the competition.

The 2022 Grand Final dates have been set for:
- Day 1 Tuesday 8th November 2022 
Business Components Day @ New Zealand Bloodstock Centre, Karaka, Auckland
- Day 2 Wednesday 9th November 2022
Practical Components Day @ New Zealand Bloodstock Centre, Karaka, Auckland

Orientation Day - 6th September 2022 at the Auckland Botanic Gardens 
This is the launch for the 2022 Competition for the 2022 Finalists.  We look forward to welcoming our new finalists at the Orientation Day.

Thank you to our Community of Supporters for 2021
The Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust would like to sincerely thank the following companies for their continued support.

Young Horticulturist Competition Official Partners - Countdown, T&G Fresh, Fruitfed Supplies.

Young Horticulturist Competition Supporters - Bayer NZ, Primary ITO, Trillian Trust, Horticentre Chartable Trust, ANZ.

Young Horticulturist Competition Affiliated Supporters - Massey University, ICL Specialty Fertiliser, Norwood Industries, Dalton International Ltd.

Friends of the Competition - Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture, Luijten Landscapes, Cornwall Park Trust, Bev McConnell, Aorangi Merchants, Roots Shoots & Fruits, Auckland Botanic Gardens, NZIHAS, Biostar, Kiwiflora, Bahco, Outback Trading Company, Watties, NZ Gardener, Hill Laboratories, Hort News, AEG Power Tools.

Goodie Bag Sponsors - Bahco, Bayer, Silex Tools, ICL, NZ Gardener, Rural News, Massey University, Fruitfed Supplies, Ayrlies Garden, Outback Trading, Roots Shoots & Fruits, Hill Labs, Cornwall Part Trust, Norwood Industries, AEG Power Tools.