Development and Operations Manager
Ross Kirk is at the forefront of horticulture production in New Zealand with more than 40 years’ experience in sourcing, developing and managing land, establishing and managing orchards and project-managing packhouse construction and operating packhouses.
A born and bred orchardist, his depth of knowledge along the orchard development supply chain includes plant husbandry to packhouse fit-out. Ross is renowned for investigating and introducing leading-edge technologies, systems and techniques – or designing his own to be purpose-built – for the orchard developments he has been involved in during his extensive career. Driving this is Ross’s quest to create efficiencies and be ahead of the curve in New Zealand cherry production.
Ross is an experienced packhouse operator, having managed construction and operation of his own in Gisborne and two of the most recent cherry packhouses built in Central Otago in the past five years.
As well as overseeing two significant plantings at Lindis Peaks and Mt Pisa orchards in 2019 and 2020, Ross designed a planting machine, which was built to his specifications and implemented in 2020. The machine enables up to 6,000 trees a day to be planted, nearly double that achieved previously.
Ross and wife Sharon Kirk combined their horticultural expertise to co-found and launch Hortinvest Limited in 2016.
Working alongside Sharon and Ross are a team of orchard and administration personnel.
Ross attended Massey University to study for a Diploma of Horticulture.