Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

April 2023

Welcome to the April Issue of the Rural Leader.

You may have read in February’s Issue, or heard by now, that Chris Parsons, NZRLT CEO, resigned to take up a new role at MyFarm. So, Rural Leaders are looking for a CEO to build on Chris’s momentum. 

In this month’s Ideas that Grow Podcast, we hear from Lucie Douma, 2022 Nuffield Scholar.

Lucie talks to Farmers Weekly Managing Editor Bryan Gibson, on the need for improvement to the way we collect, manage, and use information on farms as part of the decision-making process. Don’t miss this one.

Together with the US based Purdue University and Lincoln University, we’re pleased to help bring a new Precision Selling Programme for producers to New Zealand.

As 2022’s Nuffield Scholars near the end of their programme journey we share their final reports. At the same time, our search for 2024’s Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholars gets underway.

Kellogg Programme One Scholars recently completed their Phase Two in Wellington. Phase Three starts 3 July at Lincoln where Scholars will present their final reports. Until then, we share three reports worth reading from the last few Kellogg cohorts.  

This month’s Alumni in the Spotlight features Rebecca Miller, 2018 Kellogg Scholar and Anna Benny, 2021 Kellogg Scholar, both making an impact, both in the spotlight.

With ChatGPT being part of just about every other work conversation right now, Dr Patrick Aldwell shares a topical book review, The Age of AI and Our Human Future. 

We hope you enjoy this issue of the Rural Leader.

The Team at Rural Leaders.

Ideas that grow podcast.

Lucie Douma: Data sharing to achieve data interoperability.

In this month’s podcast, Lucie Douma, 2022 Nuffield Scholar, talks to Farmers Weekly Managing Editor Bryan Gibson, on the need for improvements to the way we collect, manage, and use information on farms as part of the decision-making process.

Lucie recently completed her final report on data interoperability. Her research was informed by extensive travel and visits to a wide range of agricultural operations across several continents.

Listen to the podcast below or follow this link to read the transcript.

Precision Selling – New Zealand: Building Relationships with Large Scale Farmers.

For the first time, Precision Selling: Building Relationships with Large Scale Farmers will be offered in New Zealand at Lincoln June 21-22 and Hamilton June 26-27. 

Purdue University, in partnership with Lincoln University and Rural Leaders offer this unique two-day programme, exploring the complexities of working with growers and delving into strategic account planning, resource allocation, information analysis and the use of sophisticated selling tools. 

For further details on this programme or to secure your place, read more on the programme page here.

The state of leadership development in New Zealand’s Food and Fibre sector.

We have shared this report in the last couple of editions of the Rural Leader, but if  you haven’t had a look through this important piece of work, here it is.

And, we do need your help by completing a survey. The results will help inform phase two of the research.

The report, a report summary video and a short survey are included in this article.

You can read the article here.

2024 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarship applications are open.

To keep New Zealand at the global forefront of food and fibre we’re looking for bold, grounded, and innovative leaders from our primary industries, to step forward as potential Nuffield Scholars in 2024 and beyond. 

Learn more, refer a potential Nuffielder, or register your interest.

Nuffield international travel – the engine behind great research.

Last year Lucie Douma (2022 Nuffield Scholar) attended the Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC) in Norfolk (UK). Lucie travelled extensively at the end of her CSC, and fellow Scholar Parmindar Singh travelled soon after. 

After travel through Europe, Lucie continued across the US, including: California, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

You can read Lucie’s insights report, as well as Parmindar Singh’s Insights Report here. These were first published in May last year. You can also read both Scholars’ Final Nuffield research reports below. 

Anthony Taueki (2022 Nuffield Scholar), has just wrapped up his travel. We’ll share his report soon.

Lucie Douma and Parmindar Singh – final Nuffield Reports.

Lucie Douma.

We are in the information age where access to and control of information is a defining characteristic of the current era. New Zealand’s agriculture sector is increasingly being asked to provide data and information to governments and consumers.

We need to find a better way of collecting, managing, and using this information on our farms as part of the decision-making process and for this we need data interoperability and data sharing of systems.

Read Lucie’s report.

Parmindar Singh.

As an agricultural export dependent country, the New Zealand economy relies on its trading markets to return valuable revenue from the food the fibre sector.

It is an opportune time for New Zealand to explore a replicable trade model, to extend trade into geographic regions.

Read Parmindar’s report.

Kellogg Programme Two is full – apply for 2024’s Programme One today.

If you, or others in your network are ready to develop the skills and tools to lead change, you could suggest they apply for 2024’s Programme One by 12 November.

In February’s Ideas That Grow Podcast, Dr Scott Champion, Programme Director, gave a podcast that anyone considering Kellogg should listen to. You can also take a look at our Kellogg Brochure here.

The Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme’s 2024 dates are,

Programme One, Lincoln: 23 January – 4 July 2024

Phase One (Lincoln):
Tuesday 23 January – Wednesday 31 January 2024.
Phase Two (Wellington):
Monday 8 April – Friday 12 April 2024.
Phase Three (Lincoln):
Monday 1 July – Thursday 4 July 2024.

Applications close Sunday 12 November, 2023. 

Programme Two, Lincoln: 11 June – 28 November 2024

Phase One (Lincoln):
Tuesday 11 June – Wednesday 19 June 2024.
Phase Two (Wellington):
Monday 9 September – Thursday 12 September 2024.
Phase Three (Lincoln):
Monday 25 November – Thursday 28 November 2024.

Applications close Sunday 14 April, 2024.

Three Kellogg reports worth sharing.

Our latest Kellogg cohort’s reports are not due until July. So in the meantime we’ve gone back through past Kellogg reports for these three must-reads.

Research from the inside out - pathways to market for investigator-led research.

In this report Cameron addresses two research questions:
1. How does an aspiring founder navigate their way to becoming a founder?
2. How can the chances of successful commercialisation be increased?

What are the barriers to the adoption of new technologies and innovation by the New Zealand farmer.

Most New Zealand farms are small to medium enterprises. How able they are to innovate and take on new technology will determine their ability to remain profitable and keep ahead of their competitors.

Fiona’s report identifies barriers facing New Zealand farmers towards innovating and taking on new technologies.


Māori governance of agricultural Cooperatives in Aotearoa New Zealand - has contribution led to representation.

The Māori economic engine is significant in terms of both asset holding and in generating activity for the economy of Aotearoa New Zealand. Despite this Māori have almost no presence in the governance of the Agricultural cooperatives.

Troy’s report looks at ways to re-engage Māori at governance levels with the cooperatives and understand the benefits and costs to each from doing so.


Alumni in the spotlight.

Alumni in the Spotlight: Anna Benny, Rebecca Miller and Alan Pye.

Anna Benny, 2021 Kellogg Scholar.

Anna Benny’s Kellogg research report ‘Milk without a Moo’ looked at how alternative dairy, especially precision fermentation, represents a risk to the NZ dairy industry and that this risk needs to be responded to. On this, Anna says, 

“And that’s probably already happening. I think Fonterra is doing more than we are aware of. I’m increasingly confident that a lot is going on under the radar at the moment and I hope there will be some exciting revelations in the not-too-distant future”.

Have a read of this article from March’s CountryWide.

Rebecca Miller, 2018 Kellogg Scholar.

While Rebecca didn’t win The Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year, she has consistently been in the mix for the top honour. Rebecca was also a finalist in 2018 with fellow Kellogger Belinda Price.

Dairy Woman’s Network (DWN) trustee Donna Smit said of Rebecca, “…Rebecca has a passion and vision for influencing through a heart-centred drive.”

Check out this short Farmers Weekly article talking about Rebecca and what she does, in the lead up to the winners’ announcement.

Alan Pye, 1982 Nuffield Scholar.

1982 Nuffield Scholar Alan Pye talked to NZ Herald’s Kurt Bayer about his love of farming. ‘Meet the Spud King’: His business is worth $1b but he’s still farming – “…it’s better than sex”, he says.

If you have a Herald subscription, you can read the April 30 article here.


The Rural Reader - Book reviews by Dr Patrick Aldwell.

Dr Patrick Aldwell, Academic Director – Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, reads more books than most of us and is a firm believer in lifelong learning. 

In this, the second ‘Rural Reader’, Patrick reviews The Age of AI and Our Human Future – Henry Kissinger et al.


News from our Partners.

FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Finalists selected.

Lisa Kendal, 2018 Kellogg Scholar and Northland region winner, joins six other regional finalists. Congratulations Lisa – and best of luck for the Grand Final.

The Grand Final will be held in Timaru 6-8 July. To keep up to date with all the news, visit the site here.


Farmlands, Federated Farmers re-fence cyclone-impacted regions.

With so much fencing to be replaced or repaired after Cyclone Gabrielle, Farmlands has donated $225,000 from its Cyclone Gabrielle Response Fund and Federated Farmers has contributed $150,000. 

The ‘Post Your Support’ campaign is seeing other key players in the sector contributing too. Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) contributing $100,000, Silver Fern Farms another $100,000 and FMG adding $30,000.

You can contribute to the fund by ‘buying’ a $20 fencepost at any of Farmlands 82 stores or online here. 

Industry News.

AWDT - Generation Change.

Young women, driven by purpose, will define our food and fibre future.

To prepare young women to make impact in the primary sector, Agri Womens Development Trust are again running Generation Change – a one-day workshop and mentoring programme in Christchurch (May 30) and Hamilton (July 27).

By exploring personal values and strengths, drafting a career plan and connecting with inspiring food and fibre people – it’s about supporting the next generation of women to bring their true selves to the sector.

Know a young woman starting her primary sector journey in tertiary study or training? Tell her about Generation Change.

E Tipu IFAMA 2023 - 19-20 June, Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Get your tickets to the E Tipu IFAMA 2023 World Conference on 19-20 June — learn about one of Aotearoa’s biggest food bowls and while you’re at it, soak up the hospitality of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Tickets available at — use the code RURALLEADERS to save 10% on your tickets.

Farmers get an automatic 50% off and special pricing is on offer for not-for-profits, start-ups, youth and students.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the biggest and most comprehensive primary sector for learning, inspiring, connecting and collaborating.

Check out this video highlighting why Ōtautahi Christchurch is the ideal location for the E Tipu IFAMA 2023 World Conference.

Leadership opportunities

CEO, NZ Rural Leadership Trust (Rural Leaders).

To continue delivering to our vision, the New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust are looking for the right individual to take on the integral position of Chief Executive Officer and provide inspirational leadership to our business. 

A key function of our organisation is the delivery of the primary sector’s three foremost leadership programmes: Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarships, Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme and Value Chain Innovation Programme.

Find out more about this this opportunity to build on the way we deliver leadership development and have a positive influence on rural New Zealand. 

Vacancy on DairyNZ board.

DairyNZ farmer director Colin Glass is not seeking re-election at the upcoming DairyNZ board of director elections.

Nominations are open for the vacancy, with the election running in September.

Here’s a recent article from Farmers Weekly on Colin Glass’s retirement.

Send us your feedback.

We’d like to know what you think of the Rural Leader and of you have any ideas on how we could improve it. 

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