8 May 2014

Leadership forum 'opens eyes'

7:28 am on 8 May 2014

A leadership workshop has opened the eyes of one young horticulturalist this week.

Kelly Jean Kerr, a garden centre assistant from Whanganui, won the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition last year and attended a two-day industry leaders' forum this week in Auckland related to the competition.

Ms Kerr said she heard from a range of industry leaders who took a big picture view of what was going on in the world in terms of horticulture - looking at issues such as food security and supply.

"When you are in your business you're a bit insular and you're kind of looking at your feet but it's widened my horizons so ... you're looking at a whole, in terms of how wide this industry is and how much we're all connected and we can all make a difference.

"Also, conversely, we also have a responsibility in the decisions that we make and how we run our businesses."

One of Ms Kerr's goals is to try to change the perception that careers in horticulture are for those who are not academically-inclined.

She said the world was facing a lot of issues that horticulture was in the prime position to provide answers to.