Horticulture student Yvette Jones plans to put her studies to good use preventing biosecurity disasters like PSA affecting New Zealand growers.
The 19-year-old bachelor of agricultural science student at Massey University has just won a $2,500 horticultural scholarship from Agcarm to help her.
Growing up in the Bay of Plenty, Yvette was surrounded by large horticultural enterprises and experienced first-hand the devastation of PSA – a bacterial kiwifruit vine disease first detected in 2010.
“One of the reasons I’m so interested in maintaining New Zealand’s biosecurity is to prevent events like this affecting whole communities again. I think the horticulture industry definitely showed resilience in past years as the kiwifruit industry has grown and recovered. Some amazing new research and cultivars have been developed to help growers start over.
Her passion for horticulture developed while at school and when conducting research for the Manuka Research Group project which aims to grow the global potential of New Zealand’s honey industry. The experience gave her a taste for research and urged her to pursue a Masters or PhD.
Yvette is keen to promote horticulture as an option to prospective students. It is undervalued as a profession, she says.
Agcarm is an industry association of companies which manufacture, distribute and sell products that keep animals healthy and crops thriving.