A 25-year old Waikato man with four years industry experience has taken out the inaugural Nufarm RCNZ Agri-Chemical Applicator of the year award.Harri Moss who is Operations Manager for Spraylink based near Cambridge was announced the winner at the awards dinner at the Rural Contractors NZ conference in Masterton. The runner-up was Todd Ealam who works for Methven-based spraying company Molloy Agriculture.

Announcing the winners, Nufarm’s National Product Manager Matt Strahan said there were a number of good entries and it was great to have both a North and South Island finalist. He says the awards recognise individuals who demonstrates excellence in agri-chemical application and innovation.

“The awards also reflect those industry leaders within the sector who are investing in the next generation coming through as demand for the services of agri-chemical contractors grows. They and their staff are performing at high levels on delivering crop protection solutions and ensuring these are applied sustainability.”

Harri won a trophy and a $5,000 fund to support his further education and development related to the crop protection industry.

Entrants needed up to five years’ experience and have a relevant agri-chemical qualification or be working towards a recognised industry certification. Their employer was required to be a member of Rural Contractors NZ who themselves held a current Registered Chemical Applicator Qualification.

Harri grew up on a family dairy farm near Matamata and did a Diploma in Agriculture at Lincoln University before driving harvest machines in Western Australia and South Canterbury. When Covid hit, he was contacted by Spraylink owner Michael Butler, who is a family friend, and offered a job. He drove spray trucks around Waikato for two years doing crop spraying in spring followed by weed spraying before being offered the role of Operations Manager, supervising 4-5 drivers. “I’m pretty keen to stick in the spraying industry. There’s a lot of variety and opportunity.”

RCNZ CEO Andrew Olsen said the awards reflected the highest level of expertise, compliance and innovation and Harri and Todd were worthy inaugural winners.