Grazing Partnership a win: win – Phil Weir, 2020 Nuffield Scholar

Phil and Megan Weir have designed a system to increase dairy grazing income by adding value

Article is sourced from NZ Farmlife’s ‘CountryWide’ January 2021 magazine

Written by: Sandra Taylor
Photo by: Emma McCarthy

By adding value to the dairy support package they offer, Waikato farmers Phil and Megan Weir are generating returns on a par with a bull beef system.

For the past three years, the couple has been farming 250 hectares (the cattle platform is 180ha) in Te Pahu on the slopes of Mt Pirongia, in the heart of Waikato dairy country. They run breeding ewes, trading cattle and dairy heifers and have developed a grazing package that generates a premium and delivers a product that benefits the client’s dairy operation by ensuring they have well grown heifers entering the herd.

Phil, who is a  2020 Nuffield Scholar and sits on Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Farmer Council, says they have been grazing heifers for dairy farmers Craig and Kylee Mora for three years. Their relationship has grown to one based on trust rather than formal contracts and an understanding that the couple will guarantee the heifers hit their pre-mating and calving target weights, irrespective of seasonal fluctuations in growth rates.

Read the full article  here: http://readnow.isentia.com/ReadNow.aspx?EcA1sSy2e6ut


Rural Leaders partners with Whanganui & Partners to build rural leadership in Wanganui region

Rural Leaders are delighted to announce our new partnership with Whanganui and Partners to help grow regional leaders and entrepreneurial capital in Whanganui’s food and fibre sector.

As part of the sponsorship, two scholarships will be granted to Whanganui residents, or those scholars who directly contribute to Whanganui’s agribusiness sector, who are undertaking a Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme or a Nuffield Farming Scholarship.

Find out more about the new partnership here.

Step up in 2021 – be part of the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme in Tai Tokerau!

Take the next step in your development and do the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme in Tai Tokerau in 2021.

Course dates: 4 May – 21 October  

Applications close on 31 January 2021

Click here for more information on the Kellogg Tai Tokerau Course

Chris Parsons Introduces 2021 Nuffield Scholars : Sarah’s Country Interview

In this interview on Sarah’s Country Chris Parsons, CEO of Rural Leaders introduces the 2021 Nuffield scholars and talks about how they will navigate their global research with covid-related travel restrictions.

Chris also touches on the 2020 Nuffield Scholar insights that were presented at the 2021 Nuffield Awards Ceremony, following the work the 2020 Scholars have been doing on the sector impacts of COVID-19.

Listen to the podcast here:

Siobhan O’Malley and Wayne Langford – win Primary Industries ‘Champion Award’ 2020

Congratulations to two of our Kellogg Alumni – Siobhan O’Malley and Wayne Langford – who were the winners of the 2020 ‘Champion Award’ at the Primary Industries Awards on 23 November in Wellington. 

Siobhan and Wayne were selected as winners of this category for their outstanding efforts as Founders of their National Charity ‘Meat the Need.’

What is the Champion Award?

“The Champion Award is intended to enable the primary industries’ community to recognise the efforts of one of its own. This is an award for the grassroots unsung hero, the genuine ‘good bugger’ who has championed their rural community and their industry. The award goes to an individual who goes beyond their own farm or business, to help others with their own challenges either in times of extreme need or in times of daily necessity.” (Copy sourced from 

The Primary Industries 2020 ‘Champion Award’ category is also sponsored by Rural Leader’s Service partner Federated Farmers.

Siobhan and Wayne are the Founders of ‘Meat the Need’ a national charity that supplies much needed meat to City Missions and food banks. The Meat is donated by farmers, processed, packed and delivered to those most in need.

Find out more about ‘Meat the Need’ and donate here.

Kellogg Tai Tokerau Networking Event – 1st December 2020

Join us at the Kellogg Tai Tokerau Networking Event!

Tuesday, 1st December at 6.30pm

At the Orchard, 35 Walton St, Whangarei

Hear from our Northland Kelloggers – Paul Martin and Graeme Peter about their Kellogg experience. Network with other Kelloggers!

Explore how doing the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme in Tai Tokerau in 2021 can help you accelerate your career in the Food and Fibre Sector.

Paul Martin, 2016 Kellogger

“The Kellogg programme has been a key part in my governance journey. I’ve developed a number of networks through the course. Those networks have supported me and inspired me to continue my growth both professionally and personally.”

Paul Martin

Paul is a self-employed Agribusiness Consultant working under the Headlands banner, with clients throughout the Northland region. In addition to his consultancy work Paul is involved in a number of governance roles within the Dairy Industry and Bee Industry. Locally, Paul is the President of the Whangarei Bee Club, and a Trustee of Reconnecting Northland.

Paul’s 2016 Kellogg research topic focused on ‘How New Zealand dairy farmers can thrive in the face of milk price volatility.’

Graeme Peter, 2020 Kellogger

“The connections and learnings I have gained from doing a Kellogg are incredible. I feel very privileged to be part of the course and in particular the calibre of my cohort.”

Graeme Peter

Graeme is the Regional Food Safety and Assurance Manager for Fonterra in Northland. He works with farmers in Northland on animal welfare, food safety and assurance claims on farm.

Graeme will graduate from the 2020 Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme at the end of November. His Kellogg research topic is ‘Corporate Social Responsibility of Aotearoa Dairy Farmers – the Current Situation and How We Win.’ This body of research focuses on the four pillars of corporate social responsibilities (economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic).

Graeme’s drive is to keep Aotearoa dairy farmers and their families as leaders on the world stage, in our farm systems and animal welfare. Graeme says “The Northland Dairy sector faces many challenges and my Kellogg project has helped me bring a wider New Zealand and international view to these issues and has also provided access to incredibly talented and informative people.”

2021 Nuffield NZ Scholarships Awarded

2021 Nuffield Scholars

Photo from left to right: Lynsey Stratford, Daniel Eb, David Eade, Hon Minister Damien O’Connor, John Foley, Ben Anderson 


Media release, Tuesday, 3rd November 2020

The latest cohort of emerging leaders in New Zealand’s primary sector were awarded a 2021 Nuffield NZ Farming Scholarship at Parliament on 3rd November. The Scholarships were awarded by Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity and Food Safety, Minister for Rural Communities and Minister of State for Trade and Export.

The 2021 Nuffield scholars are Ben Anderson, owner and manager of a dry stock farm in Hawkes Bay, David Eade, owner of a finishing block in Whanganui and GM of Apiary Solutions, Daniel Eb, Auckland based Communication Strategist, John Foley, Senior Seed Production Agronomist for PGG Wrightson Seeds in Christchurch and Lynsey Stratford, an equity partner in a 420 cow dairy farm in Curio Bay and Dairy Environment Leader with Dairy NZ.

Click here to read the 2021 Nuffield Scholar bios.

The travel programme for scholars next year will be different to previous years due to border closures resulting from COVID19.  Typically, the Nuffield Scholarship programme involves travel internationally for at least four months and participation in a Contemporary Scholars Conference with Nuffield Scholars from around the world. Followed by a six-week Global Focus Programme through several countries with other scholars. 

“Next year our scholars will start their programme with extensive national travel to gain greater insights and deeper understanding into New Zealand’s primary sector before embarking on any international travel” says Nuffield NZ Chairman, Andrew Watters.

“Although the programme will be delivered differently to previous years, it will offer scholars new opportunities and experiences, along with a global perspective whether or not scholars travel abroad” says Watters.

The five new Scholars will join more than 160 Nuffield alumni who have been awarded Nuffield Scholarships over the past 70 years. Their research topics are likely to cover a range of different agricultural issues such as climate change, fractional investing in agriculture, repositioning the role that farming plays in society, technology in agriculture around automation of roles and health, safety and wellbeing on farm.

Kellogg Course : Cancellation Policy

We select each course intake based on a mix across sectors, region, gender, culture and age. Unsuccessful applicants are advised once the selection decision is made. 

Withdrawals after the selection process, therefore, create a change in the desired mix of participants and possible unfilled positions on the course.  A cancellation policy will apply as follows:

  • Cancellation within one month of course start:                 
    75% refund
  • Cancellation within 7 days of course start: 
    No refund
  • Course deferment/transfer:
    Admin fee of $250 +GST if more than one month prior to course start date

Please note:
Only one course transfer/ deferment will be accepted before cancellation policies above will apply.

If payment has not been received an invoice will be sent for the relevant cancellation/ deferment fee.

Written applications for refunds due to circumstances beyond control will be considered on an individual basis.

Hamish Murray : Lessons for farm teams in study

Nuffield Scholar Hamish Murray’s work on the changing nature of farm work highlights how even that bastion of stalwart farming types needs to change to remain a relevant, exciting and desirable place to work for a new generation.

Read the full article sourced from Farmers Weekly (18 June 2020) here.

Click here to listen to Hamish’s interview on Sarah’s Country. 

2021 Nuffield NZ Farming Scholarship Applications

Applications close 23 August 2020

Are you an NZ Farmer/grower or Agribusiness Professional looking to broaden your horizons, grow your networks and gain some global experience in the agri sector?

Click here to find out how you can do that through the Nuffield Scholarship Programme.

Apply now for a 2021 Scholarship.

Corrigan Sowman : All Black thinking tackles stress

Nuffield Scholar Corrigan Sowman believes an All Black approach to thinking will build more resilience in farmers.

Farmers are under increasing pressure as changes in society, technology and climate leave them questioning their role as producers of food. The challenges are making the right decisions for their wellbeing and producing food modern consumers demand. 

Corrigan Sowman has found some of the best lessons for thriving in this new environment can be found with the All Blacks.

Read the full article sourced from Farmers Weekly (3 June 2020) here.

Tune in to Corrigan’s live interview on Sarah’s Country (4 June 2020).

2021 Nuffield NZ Farming Scholarship Applications

Applications close 23 August 2020

Are you an NZ Farmer/grower or Agribusiness Professional looking to broaden your horizons, grow your networks and gain some global experience in the agri sector?

Click here to find out how you can do that through the Nuffield Scholarship Programme.

Apply now for a 2021 Scholarship.