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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

11 mins ago

Horticulture student Jareth Russell and EIT tutor Gordon Reid at the awards.

Last Thursday evening, the Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association (HBFA) held their annual awards ceremony at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre. Looking back on a successful but challenging year 2020, HBFA paid tribute to the thriving local fruit growers, innovative young entrepreneurs and EIT horticulture graduates.

In the presence of Hundreds of friends, family and fellow students a group of EIT horticulture students were presented by members of EIT’s School of Primary Industries with their New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Production  (Level 4) and New Zealand Diploma in Horticulture Production (Level 5).

As all the graduates are already in full-time employment by fruitgrowers in Hawke’s Bay the contribution of their trainers, who spend a lot of time mentoring their trainees, was also acknowledged.

HBFA vice president and EIT tutor Brydon Nisbet announced the scholarship recipients. Of the 20 scholarships offered nationwide by Horticulture New Zealand, EIT trainees received 5 of them. HBFA honoured a further 12 EIT trainees with funds from their Charitable Trust. They received scholarships from $250 to $600 depending on their level of study.

Two outstanding Level 4 graduates were acknowledged for their excellence during study. Jareth Russell won the Fred Horrocks Memorial Award for Overall Excellence in Horticulture, while Donna Wilson was honoured with the Organic Pipfruit Growers Award for being the Top Organic Apprentice.

Jareth, who is working at T&G, said he was “shocked and thrilled” to win this prestigious award. Jareth completed his Level 4 horticulture qualification last year and is now studying for his level 5 Diploma in Fruit Production. On top of his award, Jareth and Donna also received two scholarships.

For Horticulture tutor and programme coordinator, Gordon Reid ceremonial occasions of this kind are always a great pleasure. “These students are putting so much time and work into working full time and studying. It gives me a buzz when I see how they grow and contribute to our thriving horticulture industry.”