A specialty tomato grower has won the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition.
Ben Smith of Pukekohe is a grower manager for Status Produce in Tuakau, which grows a range of speciality tomatoes for supermarkets and export.
Mr Smith competed against five other finalists in Auckland for the top spot and a piece of the prize pool worth $40,000.
At the Botanic Gardens in Auckland this week, judges tested their skills in marketing, accounting and practical challenges.
Rebekah Green, of Auckland, came second and Paul Southan, also of Auckland, took third place.