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Ryan O’Sullivan: Nuffield Farming Scholarship recipient (2017)

New Zealand well placed to produce food to meet demands
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Ryan O'Sullivan: Nuffield Farming Scholarship recipient (2017) - Major shareholder with wife Tina in a farm equity partnership, Fairlie, South Canterbury

Nuffield farming scholarships focus on the international perspective – where New Zealand fits in the global agri-food sector and what’s driving things. Through my scholarship travels and research, I’ve learned New Zealand is very well placed to produce food to meet consumer awareness and demands. Our milk is a fantastic product with great nutritional value and many diverse applications.

However, ensuring an ongoing demand for our milk means getting things right both inside and beyond the farm gate – and that takes quality leadership. Our sector needs to foster leaders and give them the tools to succeed, and grassroots farmers are the best people to navigate through the issues ahead.

That’s why money invested by sector organisations like DairyNZ to build that capability is well spent. Through Rural Leaders, the Nuffield and Kellogg programmes are providing a pipeline of potential leaders armed with knowledge and skills in the rural community. DairyNZ’s support is a big part of that.

On a more personal note, my Nuffield scholarship also gave me the confidence to get in front of audiences and share what I saw, and who I talked to helped me with my critical thinking and prompted me to go for some governance roles.

This article appeared in the April 2020 edition of Inside Dairy magazine