Annabel Bulk from Felton Road has become the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2018.
Having won the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year competition at the end of August, she went on to represent the viticultural sector in this tough competition.
The competition was held over the 7th and 8th November, where Annabel competed against five other finalists from other horticultural sectors – Landscaping NZ, Horticulture NZ, NZ Plant Producers, NZ Flower Growers, and NZ Amenity Horticulture.
The contestants were tested in depth on a wide range of skills and knowledge related to horticulture. This included their own specific sectors as well as Irrigation & Technology, Botany & Machinery, Bees & Biosecurity, Fertilisers & Soils, HR, Agchem, First Aid, leadership skills, presentation skills, budgeting, and community engagement.
Several weeks were also spent working on the AGMARDT Market Innovation Project. Contestants had to submit a business plan for a new product they would like to develop and launch, then were later quizzed by a panel of judges on its viability.
They also had to give a speech at the Awards Dinner in front of a large audience of key horticultural leaders.
“Without a doubt, it is a very tough competition,” says Nicky Grandorge, National Co-ordinator for Young Viticulturist of the Year. “Annabel has worked extremely hard and the wine industry is incredibly proud of her winning this prestigious competition. Annabel has a deep passion for viticulture, a thirst for knowledge and a natural ability to share this. She is a fantastic ambassador for viticulture and has all the qualities to grow into one of the future leaders of our industry.”
Annabel is the seventh Young Vit to win the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in the fourteen years it has been running. “It is exciting to know the New Zealand wine industry has such strong leaders emerging for the future. The Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year plays an important role in this leadership development and then the support, mentorship and experience they receive from taking part in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition builds on this even further” says Ms Grandorge. “It’s fantastic for the individual and fantastic for horticulture as a whole”.
Not only did Annabel win the prestigious title of Young Horticulturist of the Year 2018, but a prize package which included $7500 travel package, $3500 Riversun Nursery Scholarship and $1000 ICL Specialty fertilisers. She also won the Fruitfed Supplies Leadership Award, the Horticentre Trust Community Engagement Award and came second in the AGMARDT innovation project, which also significantly boosted her prize package.
Annabel Bulk certainly has a very bright future ahead of her.