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Next-gen growers sought for HortNZ scholarships

Students considering a career in New Zealand’s ‘growing’ horticulture industry are encouraged to apply for Horticulture New Zealand’s scholarships.

Applications for HortNZ’s annual undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships are now open until 10 December 2021 for the 2022 study period.

HortNZ chief executive Nadine Tunley says that the scholarship programme supports students who have a special interest in the fruit or vegetable industry to pursue their careers.

“Young people are the future of the horticulture industry. That is why HortNZ offers these scholarships – worth up to $10,000 – to support the next generation of innovators and leaders.

“The industry needs an increasingly diverse range of people and skills because growing is becoming more technical and high-tech. For example, covered crops like herbs need engineers to optimise and automate growing systems, and fruit crops need the best international marketers to compete overseas.

There’s a huge range of career opportunities in horticulture as the industry continues to diversify and grow. The horticulture industry has grown more than 70% over the past decade, with growth like that projected to continue.”

Jack Hosking, a Massey University postgraduate student and recipient of a HortNZ postgraduate scholarship, says that doors have opened for him since receiving the scholarship.

“It was such a great thing to happen. It has taken the pressure off finding funding for my research and has allowed me to focus on my studies.

“Looking longer term after I finish my thesis, there’s so many career pathways to choose from. The world’s my oyster pretty much!

“The scholarship has connected me to the industry and been like a bridge between my study and a career. It confirms that the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired are in demand by the sector.

“A big bonus was attending the 2021 Horticulture Conference. It was inspiring to meet a huge mix of people from the industry, particularly young people, that all had a passion and drive for what they do.”

There are HortNZ undergraduate scholarships worth $1500 available for each region, with the top three candidates receiving an additional $3,000 to support their studies. There are two postgraduate scholarships available, each worth $10,000.

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