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The nowhere-near complete guide to writing your Nuffield Scholarship application.

So, you’re looking to craft a cut-through Nuffield Scholarship application. If you’re like most people, the real struggle is getting started. There is something you can do while you stare blankly at the blinking cursor – ask yourself why?

Why are you applying for a Nuffield Scholarship? Your motivation is important. It will help you form a plan. A plan almost always leads to a better crafted anything really.  

Let a strong, singular motivation shine through, in not only the way your writing sounds, but how it feels too. For the reader, it’s the difference between wanting to read something compelling, and words on a page. 

Now, we can’t give you tips on what your motivation might be, but let’s just say anything along the lines of ‘I want to give back to the food and fibre sector’, is a good place to start. Remember you are submitting to a panel of smart, motivated people like yourself, who are determined to see New Zealand leading the future of food and fibre on the global stage.

Here are some tips from those who have read a few applications, to make the answering-questions-brilliantly-bit easier.  

1. Be clear and concise as to why you want a Nuffield Scholarship. 
Choose your words well and be economical. A good answer does not have to be a long-winded one. The more concise you are, the more the reader will gain a sense of your single-mindedness. That your motivation is clear.  
 
2. You’re likely to be clear about what a Nuffield Scholarship can do for you.
Make sure the reader is clear about what you will do for Nuffield. The reader, also known as ‘The Selection Panel ’, will want to know about your propensity for giving back. That’s a big part of Nuffield. Bringing back the thinking and ideas that might advance New Zealand’s food and fibre sector. 

A good application will show an understanding of how a Nuffield Scholarship will enable you to develop and implement strategic ideas and opportunities. Put simply, show you understand what a Nuffield Scholarship is.  

3. Sell yourself, but don’t overcook it. 
A critical piece of your sell is including examples of community leadership involvement, and ideally sector leadership experience as well. Recent is best. Play any ace cards up front, don’t bury them. 

Before you submit your application. 

Have you read it out loud? 
Does it sound the way you imagined it would when you wrote it? Try reading it out loud, it will help you find the things that aren’t quite working. 

Can you make it shorter? 
Less is more. There will always be a few words you don’t need. 

Have you asked someone else to read it? 
As great at writing as you may be, a second pair of eyes helps proof and sense check. When you’re the one writing, you’re often too close to see the obvious, like, glaring errors the spellcheck missed. 

Any big words you can replace with simpler ones? 
Enough said. 

Did you enjoy writing it? 
Are you pleased with what you’ve written? If so, chances are your reader will enjoy reading it too. 

2021 Food and Fibre Sector Insights Report

2021 Nuffiled New Zealand Farming Scholars Insights Report

Dead-ends or transformation - Redesigning NZ farming to thrive through change.

The environmental, social and economic contexts in which we farm and grow are changing rapidly. The pressure many primary sector New Zealanders feel is the collision of ‘business as usual’ with accelerating forces of change. Under these new conditions, protecting long-held structures and models becomes untenable. To thrive in a challenging new world, we must choose to self-disrupt and transform fundamental parts of our sector: however difficult that process may be.

This is the core insight of the Nuffield 2021 ‘World Tour of New Zealand’ – a redesigned Nuffield Farming Scholarship experience that saw 10 emerging primary sector leaders travel the length of the country to gather insights into the challenges and opportunities ahead.

This report is a culmination of those insights, as viewed through five pillars fundamental to a thriving NZ food and fibre sector:

Incentives – How the end of the ’farming for capital gain’ model is forcing us to redefine value, and restructure our organisations to capture it.

David Eade and Ben Anderson

Innovation – Mapping innovation potential across the sector to find what separates the status quo from the game-changers.

Shannon Harnett and Ben Mclauchlan

People – How leading organisations put people at the centre of what they do.

Lynsey Stratford and Edward Pinckney

Silos – How systemic silos across leadership, research and data management are restricting the potential of the sector.

Philip Weir and John Foley

Leadership – Why transformation must be led by values and purpose-driven leaders.

Tracy Brown and Daniel Eb

This report builds on the 2020 Nuffield Scholars Insights and represents the start of our individual study in chosen areas. We encourage those who wish to support our research to get in touch – our contact details are included throughout.

Finally, our sincere thanks to the many hundreds of primary sector New Zealanders who shared time and insights with us along the way. While there is a need for great transformation ahead, your pride, passion and talent are a reminder that we can and will get there.

Ngā mihi nui

The 2020 and 2021 New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholars

Download your copy here


Time to celebrate the role our primary industries play

Nuffield Scholar Rebecca Hyde

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

Written by: Annabelle Latz
Photo by: Andrew Kyburz

Time to celebrate the role our primary industries play, New Zealand

Let’s sing the praises of the skills and value of our primary industries, as we do for our New Zealand sports teams.

This is the vision of farm environment consultant Rebecca Hyde, who operates under her own brand TFD Consulting Ltd, which is short for ‘The Farmer’s Daughter.’

Based in Oxford, North Canterbury, she launched her business in 2020. Much of her work week involves talking with farmers about the ever-evolving raft of regulations, a somewhat new and often complex business tier within our traditional ‘Number 8 Wire’ agricultural sector.

Over the past few years health and safety, employment and water regulations, to name a few, have become permanent features on a farmer’s business plan, directed from central government.

“A lot of farmers don’t understand all of it. It’s all come at once,” says Rebecca, the former nutrient management advisor at Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Ravensdown.

Rebecca is not shy to remind farmers that these changes are here to stay.

“The regulations will never stop, and collaboration to grapple these changes, while remembering the ‘people’ element of farming, is a must.”

Rebecca says while there is regulation involved with her business, there is also a large element of best practice.

While some farmers need more critical conversations than others, Rebecca says some don’t get why things have changed, or don’t want things to change.

“My advice is, either make the changes and I can help you, or the next person might not be so nice.”

Born and raised on a sheep and beef farm in Scargill, North Canterbury, farming has always run strong through Rebecca’s veins, and she has never imagined working in any other sector.

“One thing I will always be is a farmer’s daughter. And I really feel privileged to sit down at a farmer’s table and help them now.”

Within her advisory roles, Rebecca has appreciated how in tune she has always been with farmers.

“You just get that mum and dad are trying to get the shearing done, need to get to kids’ sport, will be drafting sheep in the dust, picking up calves in the rain… You just get stuff, and farmers appreciate this.”

What appealed to Rebecca about starting her own business was embracing the challenges, and having that natural instinct of what is happening on the land.

In 2017 Rebecca was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship, which she utilised to investigate globally how collaboration works well between groups in the agricultural sector, and how well New Zealand was doing comparatively.

Her travels took her to 13 different countries including Brazil, India, America, Canada, Denmark and China.

“One of the things that came across really clearly was that most groups saw the bigger picture of working together.”

Rebecca believes New Zealand at the time was not as strong on collaboration, as there was still plenty of segregation between farming industries: dairy, arable, non-irrigation, irrigation, sheep and beef, etc.

But this has changed, and collaborative groups such as the Primary Sector Council and the development of the Red Meat Sector story with Taste Pure Nature are great initiatives that encourage conversation, ideas, and solutions for the primary sector as a whole.

Rebecca cannot emphasise enough the importance of continued collaboration and communication, and the complexity of farming that must be acknowledged.

She talks about the three layers of farming: The ground layer is the physical farm, the middle layer is the farm management system, and the third layer is the people layer.

“And that is what makes a farm unique, the combination of all of them. And farmers must work out where that sweet spot is.”

Time and time again, Rebecca has sat in front of industry ‘experts’ with her fellow farming community.

“Farmers are expected to show up and contribute, but they’re not considered experts. I think that is something that’s really been missed – that people element.

‘One thing I will always be is a farmer’s daughter. And I really feel privileged to sit down at a farmer’s table and help them now.”

Farmers have the data and the systems – they are the people living that land and system. Farmers know their capabilities, their limitations.”

Rebecca admits there is no argument that the pressures on the environment are increasing, which is human-driven. Modern day regulations have put restrictions on farmers being able to make changes on their own farm, at their own discretion. Nowadays a farm environment plan, a nutrient budget, and in some instances, a land use consent, are required.

Rebecca certainly isn’t anti regulations, which she sees as tools for raising the floor, but agrees with farmers they can be confusing.

“Farmers know the practical, and they might not need the practical changes (such as fencing off waterways), but they might just need to know the new regulations.”

Should collaboration and the ‘people’ side of farming continue to flourish, the future of the New Zealand agricultural sector is a bright one.

“Agriculture is a big business in New Zealand, and it creates business minds.”

Rebecca believes good farmers are open to different types of experts; for example dry land farmers farming for moisture and using soil moisture monitors.

She says Covid-19 has really changed how people are looking at their own health, and sees farmers as being a big part of this as food producers.

“I would like to see a future where New Zealanders are proud of what farmers do. Where someone in central Auckland is singing the praises of their New Zealand- grown food, because they are proud of what we can produce, like we are proud of our sports people.”

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  

APPLY NOW
Applications close on 31 January 2021

Click here for more information on the Kellogg Tai Tokerau Course

2020 Review and look ahead to 2021 with Chris Parsons & Lindy Nelson : Sarah’s Country Interview

Chris Parsons, CEO of Rural Leaders and Lindy Nelson, Founder of Agri-Women’s Development Trust joined Sarah Perriam on Sarah’s Country to talk about the year ahead and what to expect for 2021.

Sarah’s Country Interview : 16th December 2020

Click here to watch the full Sarah’s Country show on demand.

Listen to the podcast 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  

APPLY NOW
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:

2020 Nuffield Scholars Insights

Stories from the year of living precariously

Presented at the Nuffield 2021 Scholarship Awards Ceremony
3rd November 2020, Wellington

The Nuffield NZ 2020 Scholars have had conversations with food and fibre producing leaders about the impact of COVID-19 on the primary sector.

From these conversations our 2020 Scholars (Tracy Brown, Ben McLauchlan, Phil Weir, Edward Pinckney and Shannon Harnett) have worked together to deliver four collective insights around supply chains, innovation, people and strategies.

Watch the 2020 Scholars deliver their insights in the video below.

Tracy Brown

“Conversations with food and fibre producing leaders about the impact of COVID 19 has helped us gain insights and become critically reflective thinkers”

Nuffielders 2020

Our year of living precariously

For the first time, the New Zealand Nuffield Scholars have worked together to deliver collective insights.

The collaborative learning model focused on ‘Critical Reflective Practice’ providing significant insight and a framework for more focused individual efforts in 2021.

Greater opportunity to connect locally has been valuable and should be incorporated into future program delivery.

Ben McLauchlan

“Resilience is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.”

Andrew Zolli

Insight one: Proven supply chain resilience

The World Trade Organisation forecast that world merchandise trade would be reduced by between 13% and 32% in 2020 (WTO, April 2020).

  • NZ has been able to continue to trade goods, despite local and international challenges.
  • We have outpaced other export focused countries.
  • Our supply chains have been tested and found to be resilient.
  • The demand for our food has ensured prioritisation and flow of key imports.
  • The primary sector has been a vital lifeline in keeping the NZ economy intact and lessening the economic impact.

Phil Weir

“The threat of going hungry became real for many people for the first time in their lives”

KPMG, The ‘now’ normal’ future

Insight two: Growing disparity between the haves and have nots

We have all been affected by COVID-19. Some of us to greater or lesser extents. It has not just been the spread of the virus that has followed an exponential growth curve.
  • Technological innovation has quickened.
  • Increasing inequality between the haves and have nots.
  • The degree and obviousness of disparity raises significant risks to social license and export markets

Edward Pinckney

“Chaos is exhausting, structure and certainty keeps us sane”

Insight three: Challenges around fit for purpose leadership

Risk related to COVID-19 escalated rapidly. Previously it was not high (or even present) on the risk matrix for many businesses. Some leaders were caught out, “frozen with indecision,” unable to make decisions and move forward. Others excelled!

The following are attributes of great leadership in a crisis:

  • Communication to create certainty
  • Culture of experimentation
  • Creativity and agility
  • Values based

Shannon Harnett

“Lock down gave me time and space to evaluate my ideals around how I live. This was an opportunity I had not had in 30 years.”

Business owner

Insight four: Adding value by moving from value to values

The rise of the ‘Conscious Consumer’ is a growing trend and COVID 19 has accelerated this.

We need to further understand the drivers behind consumers preparedness to buy and consume sustainably grown, values-based produce.

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.

Rebecca Hyde’s Nuffield Journey

Rebecca's video insights from her travels around the world

Before leaving...

Notes from India

Brazil

Denmark

Quatar

USA continued

United Kingdom

Canada, Ireland, UK

China

Rebecca Hyde's Nuffield Report:

Rebecca's stories and articles