From my time researching my chosen Kellogg’s topic, I have found it very easy to say something is broken. We need to change. This needs to be done by aiming for those low hanging fruit that shock and challenge us as dairy farmers.
I have since come to the realization that great leaders can inspire and lead change. The point of this project was not just to start a conversation and become more knowledgeable, but to challenge my own beliefs, innovate and lead through action.
‘The light bulb wasn’t invented by continuously improving the candle.’ Oren Harari
It was about understanding the job to be done and then stepping back to look for solutions to solve this.
Only a few years ago the statement ‘Pasture to Plate’ was created. Now with that rate of change required to hold onto our licence to operate as a farmer, I feel it should be changed to ‘Ecosystem, transparent to customer with an emotional connection in-between.’
To even adjust to the complexity of what I feel is now required, I find myself relaunching my dairy farming career with what I suspect will happen at least three times within my working time frame, if I am to remain competitive. At each point requiring to fully up-skill, or in today’s words – capability rejuvenation. To achieve this, can we do what we’ve always done and just improve or adjust? Or as farmers do, we innovate?
For years gone by and even still today, we as Kiwi’s believe that we are great innovators through the ingenuity of the “No.8 wire” mentality, with a can do resourcefulness attitude, that comes from a country such as ourselves at the bottom of the world. We are a long way from February 15th 1882 when our first frozen meat shipment left New Zealand’s shores. Although these are incredible feats in their own right, as we moved towards the industrialised age, the question has to be asked:
Are we as Kiwis still great innovators? How can New Zealand shift from this idea of ‘feeding the world,’ to ‘being great for the world?’
Furthermore within an industry such as the dairy industry, why is it that we struggle to attract and retain quality staff members? That across the board we have an increased number of people struggling with mental health and well-being. To a point now, I’m left wondering, who’s next? Who will be the next fellow dairy farmer crippled by depression and/or anxiety?