My journey began when studying at Massey with my plant-loving friend. Her passion for plants and growing was contagious and I quickly decided to change my degree to plant science. I graduated from Massey in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science and Horticulture. I thoroughly enjoy learning about why and how plants do what they do and discovering new ways to utilise them in order to feed this ever-growing world.
After graduating I landed a fantastic job working alongside some extremely knowledgeable vegetable growers in Pukekohe. In the role of Carrot Crop Technical Support, I get to learn about and make vital decisions on how best to grow the crop. I also run my own trials throughout New Zealand. Running trials is an essential part of my role as this ensures the company is innovating while being sustainable and productive.
The New Zealand horticulture industry has welcomed me with open arms. Everyone is so friendly and willing to share their knowledge. I feel valued as a person and encouraged to develop my career through scholarships, conferences, domestic and international field trips, and leadership opportunities. I also love the amount of hands-on work horticulture offers and that I don’t sit at a desk for 8 hours a day.
This industry has many opportunities that are unique to horticulture. One of the many opportunities that have come my way was to be a part of the International Horticulture Immersion Programme (IHIP) while studying at Massey. This was a real eye-opener and has now given me direction and a deeper understanding of the industry in New Zealand and overseas. I have been inspired by these opportunities and strongly encourage other people to get involved. We need more enthusiastic people to come into this industry, share their ideas, work collaboratively between sectors and keep this industry as sustainable and productive as possible.
I would love to see more people realise the potential opportunities that this industry offers. Never say no to an opportunity and always give it a go even if you are told no the first time, someone is always watching and fantastic opportunities can arise from just putting your hand up!