The Rural Leader

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Rural Leaders New Zealand

June 2021

Welcome to the June issue of the Rural Leader newsletter.

In this issue, our podcast ‘Ideas that grow’, talks with Penny Clark-Hall on what a social licence to operate is and why it is more important now than ever before.

And in ‘Alumni in the Spotlight’ we interviewed 2014 Nuffield Farming Scholar Sophie Stanley. Sophie talks artificial intelligence, digital twins, and art classes.

We hope you enjoy this issue of The Rural Leader.

The Rural Leaders’ team

In this issue:

Message from our Programme Manager

Welcome to this issue of The Rural Leader. It’s been a busy month at The New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust and in the wider food and fibre sector, with much of Canterbury’s rural community suffering in the recent flooding, and the North Island’s East Coast more recently too. Our thoughts are with families affected and those working to fix the damage the rain has caused.

Before the rain started falling, the Nuffield Biennial Conference ‘Fast Changing Food Systems’, was held over three days in Wairarapa. At the conference, Rural Leaders’ CEO, Chris Parsons and Chair, Andrew Watters, presented our strategy for the future direction of the scholarships and more broadly, the future of leadership in the food and fibre sector. This strategy underpins our mission to continue growing world-class, future leaders for New Zealand. We’ll be sharing more detail about the strategy in due course.

Those future leaders include the 2020 and 2021 Nuffield Scholars, who presented their Insights Report from the National Focus Tour, they undertook earlier this year. It presents an optimistic set of possible outcomes for our sector, and the transformations or ‘flips’ we need to embrace to get there. You can scroll down to download and read the 2021 report.

Lisa Rogers

The Rural Leaders podcast

In this episode, Bryan Gibson talks to 2018 Kellogg Scholar Penny Clark-Hall about her research on having a social licence to operate in the rural economy.

How much trust do you have from your stakeholders? How is it gained? How is it lost?  And do we engage with people in a positive way?

Listen to the full episode here

Read Penny’s Kellogg report How to earn your social licence to operate.

Penny is currently putting theory into practice developing her Social Licence Consulting business and you can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram if would like to know more about her ideas.

New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust:
New Appointment

New Marketing and Communications Manager appointment – Matt Hampton

Just a few weeks into his new role as Marketing and Communications Manager, Matt joins Rural Leaders with nearly 20 years’ marketing experience in a range of senior roles covering many industry sectors. With core strengths in writing, design direction and advertising, he’ll be working with our digital marketer to support the CEO, Programme Manager and Rural Leaders’ broader strategic objectives.

Matt is interested in how we might use simple creativity tools and approaches to solve complex industry problems. He’s passionate about exploring New Zealand’s wild places.

Nuffield News

2021 Biennial Conference in Wairarapa

With some of the best agri-food innovation the Wairarapa region has to offer, visits and presentations, the three-day Nuffield Biennial Conference ‘Fast Changing Food Systems’, was a huge success.

Keynote speaker Sir Peter Gluckman, spoke of adapting land use systems to meet future and changing needs. The 2020 and 2021 Nuffield Farming Scholars presented their Insights Report ‘Dead-ends or transformation – Redesigning New Zealand farming to thrive through change’ (link provided below).

Early in the conference, the 2018 and 2019 Nuffield Farming Scholars presented their reflections since completing their scholarship year. A reminder that all final reports are available to view on our website.

A big thank you to the local organising committee for making the three days as memorable and inspiring as they were.

Primary Sector Insights Report 2021

The 2020 and 2021 Nuffield Scholars recently completed their 2021 Primary Sector Insights Report ‘Dead-ends or Transformation: Redesigning New Zealand farming to thrive through change’.

To download a copy of the report visit our website:

Do you know a change-maker in the making?

Applications for the 2022 Nuffield Farming Scholarships are now open. We would like to ask Nuffield and Kellogg Alumni and our industry partners to approach any potential candidates you may know and encourage them to apply. And if you have any tips to help them prepare a strong application, even better.

Applications close 15th August. Click to go to the application page.

You can download and share our updated brochure here:

Kellogg News

Kellogg Northland regional course update

This was the first Kellogg Programme to be delivered away from its ancestral homeland of Lincoln University. The first phase of the programme was held in Whangarei over nine inspiring days for the twenty Kelloggers. All participants were from a diverse range of industry backgrounds, ten were from the Northland region.

The Programme will increase the total number of agri-business leaders three-fold in the region, growing the depth of leadership needed to ensure delivery of future projects.

Feedback from across the cohort was unanimously positive. It was a great way for Kellogg to set a high leadership benchmark.

It wasn’t all work either. Below are just a few shots from our team building exercises.

Next up for the Northland cohort is the Wellington week in August.

2022 Kellogg course dates

We are always happy to take early applications.

Kellogg 2022 Course Dates
Lincoln Course 1 – 25 January – 8 July 2022
Applications close: 14 November 2021

Lincoln Course 2 – 21 June – 2 December 2022
Applications close: 17 April 2022

Alumni in the Spotlight

Sophie Stanley on her work in agri-tech, artificial intelligence and art classes

Tracy Brown on RNZ

Tracy Brown

Tracy Brown (2020 Nuffield Scholar) was recently featured in Country Life on Radio New Zealand.

Tracy is focused on getting dairy farmers onboard with doing the right thing – through improved actions for the environment and better connections with community. In this interview, Tracy talks about her recent experience as a Nuffield Scholar on the National Focus Programme.

Find out more

Andy Elliot shares a nutritious idea

Andy Elliot featured recently on Stuff, after presenting at the Natural Health Products New Zealand Annual Summit in Blenheim.

His presentation was based on his Nuffield research which explored the urgent needed for New Zealand businesses and primary industries to reposition their offerings towards health and nutritional solutions, rather than ‘food and beverage’.

Click here to read the full article on Stuff.

News from our investing partners

2021 conference: Resilience and Recovery

Sign up today. 

I am very pleased by how our 2021 conference has come together, and am confident that all growers and other industry participants will benefit from the presentations and time together.

Mike Chapman, Chief Executive, Horticulture New Zealand

Click here to find out more and register.


2021 conference: Resilience and Recover

This year, Livestock Improvement Corporation was among the  21 companies that have been commended for their achievements and selected as HRD’s 2021 Employers of Choice.

Read more about the awards and the criteria here.

Beef+Lamb Launching new industry awards

Beef+Lamb New Zealand Awards The Awards have been developed after extensive consultation with farmers and industry, as an opportunity for the sheep and beef sector (including dairy beef) to tell its story to the public. Beef+Lamb want to showcase the grassroots innovation, the farming practices, the knowledge and the skills that underpins New Zealand’s unique sheep and beef industry. Nominations to open mid year –

Food & Fibers Aotearoa New Zealand Challenge

The Food & Fibres Aotearoa New Zealand Challenge is now seeking applications for new ‘on-edge’ initiatives that break new ground in the drive towards a zero-carbon economy.

The Challenge is a contestable fund for total AGMARDT funding, ranging from $200,000 up to $500,000 (including of GST), designed to simulate transformational change addressing the big challenges for the primary sector.

For more information, please download the application guidelines.

Industry news

KPMG Agribusiness Agenda 2021

Call to all scholars: Update your details

Please take a few minutes to fill out a form (by clicking on the applicable tile below) to let us know what you have been up to.

These records will not be used outside of our organisation without your permission. Thank you!

To update your details

Click Here

To update your details

Click Here

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​