We're proud to announce our own Tom Ferguson as the winner of the 2015 National NGINZ Young Achiever Award. Tom wins a $3000 trip for two to the 2016 Melbourne Flower Show and will go on to represent the nursery industry in this year's Young Horticulturalist competition in Auckland.
"I had the pleasure of representing Southern Woods Nursery at the 2015 Young Achiever competition. Taking part allowed me to meet a wide range of industry leaders and experience a different part of the country. We were tested in all aspects of the nursery and garden trade, including plant propagation, plant identification, merchandising and budgeting. Highlights included a guided tour around the Growing Spectrum nursery, meeting the fun NextGen crew, and a fantastic dinner at “Out in the Styx” while hearing from Carol Fraser about the history of the Maungatautari Ecological Island trust.
I’d like to thank my colleagues at Southern Woods, both past and present. Special thanks to my bosses Chris and Nalin, as well as my mentors John Keoghan, Alan Coburn and the late Murray Mannall for introducing me to this fantastic industry and cultivating my passion for plants. Working in both the garden centre and production nursery has given me a strong grounding in the various skills and issues of the nursery and garden trade.
I encourage all aspiring young achievers in the nursery and garden industry to give the competition a go, it’s a great experience and an invaluable networking opportunity. I’ve met people who share my passion for plants, both young and old, including NextGen members who made a special trip down for the occasion. I’m excited and proud to represent the nursery and garden industry in this year’s Young Horticulturalist competition. I will be working hard preparing myself over the next few months, and I look forward to doing the nursery and garden sector proud up in Auckland."
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