Jamie Wells

Meet Young Grower – Jamie Wells

posted in: Articles, News & Info
Share this:

Jamie Wells won the Pukekohe Young Grower of the Year award on Friday 17 May at LaValla Estate in Tuakau.

The competition tested the vegetable and fruit growing skills and knowledge of seven exceptional contestants in various modules.

Potatoes New Zealand caught up with Jamie to find out more about this exceptionally talented individual.

Jamie Wells
Jamie Wells

Jamie Wells
Agronomist, Balle Bros

Jamie was born in Waingaro in the Waikato district and spent his childhood between Raglan and Ararimu along with his seven half siblings and one full sibling. He completed his high schooling years at Pukekohe High School.

Currently Jamie works as an agronomist at Balle Bros. He mainly works around the Franklin district, where he covers potatoes, onions, carrots, spring onions, cereals, and brassica crops. He also assists in planting administration, auditing, QC analysis, seed, chemical and fertiliser procurement.

Jamie came into this role through his last year of high school, when Eamon Balle, Balle Bros was presenting a discussion to the class on potato production. He was interested to learn more, and was offered a tour of the operation to have a better understanding of the company. From there Jamies was able to have the opportunity to work for Balle Bros as a junior agronomist/trial assistant after high school, while completing his studies.

He studied via correspondence for a bachelor of agriscience, majoring in horticulture from Massey university.

Jamie has also been able to complete Massey University’s Intermediate and Advanced Sustainable Nutrient Management courses through correspondence.

Jamie Wells

When asked what he enjoyed about the potato/horticulture industry, Jamie’s response was “the research and innovation to overcome challenges in the sector and horticulture industry. It’s always interesting to see what’s on the horizon and what new encounters to look out for in the coming years. Hearing from members in the area impart their wealth of knowledge is intriguing to hear. I also enjoy the ability to be outdoors for a career.”

Jamie Wells

For his free time, Jamie mainly is enjoying sporting activities. Currently, he is playing football in Clevedon and in previous years he has been involved in Onewhero Pukekohe hockey as well as Drury United cricket.

Jamie and his fiancé try to attend warrior’s games if not sold out as well as going to the occasional concert.

Jamie’s friends and family describe him as being a very sociable, outgoing person, easy to have a conversation with.

The most significant challenge for Jamie would be completing his degree by correspondence, as it required a lot of self-discipline and dedication to accomplish without the university facilities at your doorstep. He said, “not living the university life is a sacrifice you make, but the end reward of having my degree was much more satisfying. I felt I came out understanding more in horticulture. Being able to learn and work at the same time, has been a bonus as I have been able to use the material I studied in my line of work.”

The accomplishments Jamie is most proud of is completing his degree and being awarded this year’s Pukekohe Young Grower of the Year.

Goals for the next five years for Jamie include getting onto the property ladder, travelling more, as he would like to see America and their sports live, especially NHL as well as future studies in post graduate options, if they become available by correspondence.

Jamie Wells

Photos credit: Matt Silcock