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Central Otago Young Grower of the Year

Gregoire (Greg) Durant Clyde has won the 2023 Central Otago Young Grower of the Year regional final

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Greg Durand, 2023 Central Otago Young Grower of the Year

The 28-year-old is a second-time entrant and says he entered the competition again this year because he really enjoyed last year’s experience.

The annual competition attracted five entrants, covering modules such as irrigation, first aid, tractor and machinery work, pest and disease, spraying and weed management as well as biosecurity.

Organiser Mariette Morkel, of Horticentre, says wind and rain were a bit of a hassle on the day and made setting up the course challenging.

“But it was great to see some new contestants entering this year, and we’re stoked with how it all went.”

Originally from France, Greg was a young backpacker when he first came to New Zealand, picking fruit in the Teviot Valley. He then moved to Clyde to work for Cherri Global, where today he works as their Clyde-Roxburgh sector manager, overseeing a 50-hectare block of cherries, in a role he has been in since 2017.

“I put in a lot of study in the lead-up to the competition because you just don’t know what you’re going to get. Having a strong mathematics background really helped me in the irrigation section.”

The competition speech was the most challenging aspect of the event for Greg, having won six out of the seven technical modules earlier in the day.

In his acceptance speech, Greg thanked everyone involved in the competition: “Thank you to everyone involved. Support for young people in the industry is great, and I hope that this support will continue next year and every year after.”

Greg will compete at the national Young Grower of the Year final in Pukekohe on
4 and 5 October. He will be competing against five other regional finalists and says he hopes to gain a lot from competing in the national final.

The next 2023 Young Grower of the Year regional final will be held on Nelson on 7 July. 

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