A Pukekohe grower, Hamish Gates, is the country's best young vegetable grower.
The 24-year-old beat four other entrants in practical and theoretical challenges in a day long competition in Pukekohe yesterday.
Mr Gates is a carrot washline supervisor at AS Wilcox & Sons.
Michael Anderson from Canterbury came second, and third place went to Lance Pratt of Pukekohe.
Mr Gates will be up against four regional young fruit grower champions to compete for an overall Young Grower of the Year title in Christchurch in August.