Runner up Young Horticulturalist of the year Devin Westley is an extraordinary young man with a huge passion for his work as a nurseryman and innovator in the industry. His employer Southern Woods Nursery and NZ Plant Producers’ Industry are delighted with his win/placing as New Zealand Young Horticulturalist and thought this was a likely outcome for him in the competition.
Devin achieved an overall second place finish in the competition. Devin also took home awards for best practice, practical activities and best speech on the night at the award’s dinner in Auckland last night.
Southern Woods retail manager Chris Smith says, “We’re immensely proud of Devin for gaining second place in this very close and intense competition. Devin has already made a huge contribution to our industry, everything he undertakes at Southern Woods he does with professionalism and the goal of achieving the best possible results for all parties.”
“We were quietly confident that with the right preparation and his can-do attitude, Devin would succeed. His eagerness to learn and desire to share his knowledge has made him an invaluable member of the Southern Woods team and we will celebrate his achievement with him soon,” Mr Smith said.
NZPPI CE Matt Dolan says it was clear when Mr Westley first won the Young Achiever Award that he was a belt and braces man and would risk no aspect of this competition getting his second best.
“Devin is a delightful young man with a powerhouse of ideas and passion for the nursery industry and environmental stewardship. He is truly and inspiration to others. This is what we need to take NZ nurseries to the next level of science and innovation,” Matt Dolan said.
NZPPI acknowledges Southern Woods and Growing Spectrum for their mentorship of Devin. We also thank the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Education Trust for running these awards and AGMARDT for their support throughout the awards.