A talented group of people who have gone on to become industry leaders.

Those who have taken part in the Young Grower of the Year have attested to the competition’s value, how it expands career prospects, offers networking opportunities, and provides a confidence boost regardless of whether contestants walk away with a winning title.

Many of these young growers have gone on to mentor other young growers in their communities and are now considered leaders in their field. Read about our alumni and their stories, below.

       2023 Results        National final winners

Young fruit grower winners        Young vegetable grower winners

2023 Results

YgoYFinal23 Dinner 146

Taylor Leabourn

2023 Young Grower of the Year
2022 Young Vegetable Grower of the Year
Best Practical modules
Best Business module
Best Innovation

YgoYFinal23 Dinner 129

Jan Buter

Runner up Young Grower of the Year
2023 Young Fruit Grower of the Year
Outstanding Leadership
Best Speech

National final winners

YgoYFinal23 Dinner 146 v2

Taylor Leabourn

2023 winner

YG Finals 2022 148 v2

Meryn Whitehead

2022 winner

YG 105

Melissa Bennett (née van den Heuvel)

2021 winner

Young Grower of the Year Jonathan Sutton 2019 lr

Jono Sutton

2019 winner

Danni van der Heijden 2018

Danni van der Heijden

2018 winner

Erin Atkinson 2017

Erin Atkinson

2017 winner

Andrew Hutchinson 2016

Andrew Hutchinson

2016 winner

Hamish Gates

Hamish Gates

2015 winner

Patrick Malley 2014

Patrick Malley

2014 winner

Ben James 2013

Ben James

2013 winner

Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott

2012 winner

Ben Smith

Ben Smith

2011 winner

Gareth Holder

Gareth Holder

2010 winner

Kevin McInnes

Kevin McInnes

2009 winner

Toby Potter new photo

Toby Potter

2008 winner

Robert Humphries new photo

Robert Humphries

2007 winner

Young fruit grower winners

YgoYFinal23 Competition 234

Jan Buter


YG Finals 2022 146

Meryn Whitehead


YG 7 v2

Melissa Bennett (née van den Heuvel)


Y Grower 23

Jono Sutton


Danni van der Heijden 2018 v2

Danni van der Heijden


Erin Atkinson 2017 v2

Erin Atkinson


Chris Clement Young Fruit Grower 2016 new photo

Chris Clement


Craig Ward Young Fruit Grower 2015

Craig Ward


Patrick Malley 2014 v2

Patrick Malley


Ben James 2013 v2

Ben James


Jos Bell Young Fruit Grower 2012

Jos Bell


Kevin Withington Young Fruit Grower 2011

Kevin Withington


Jonathan Newby left Young Fruit Grower 2010 New photo

Jonathan Newby