Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

August 2022

Welcome to the Rural Leader August newsletter. 

We start this issue with a message from Chris Parsons, Rural Leaders’ CEO. Chris gives a quick update on a project we have been working on over the last year.

The 2022 Nuffield Scholars were formally awarded their Scholarships in Wellington on Wednesday evening. We share a short piece about the evening.

In this month’s Ideas that Grow podcast, we hear from Lynsey Stratford, a 2021 Nuffield Scholar. She spoke about her work as a People Management Consultant, life as a Dairy Farmer and her Nuffield research.  

The 2023 Nuffield Scholarship application period closed two weeks ago. Application numbers are well up on the previous two years. It was encouraging to see a wide cross section of industries represented. 

In this issue we’ll also hear from the Kellogg delivery team: Dr Scott Champion, Dr Patrick Aldwell and Phil Morrison, on what makes the Programme so unique – just as the 1000th Kellogg Scholar places their graduation certificate on the wall. 

We’ve had feedback from industry in recent weeks on The Value Chain Innovation Programme. Some made a request for us to reduce the duration of the immersion field trip. So, we took another look and recut it as a one-week, North Island field trip. We may do a South Island ‘part two’ in the future. 

Professor Hamish Gow is Facilitating the Value Chain Innovation Programme with Phil Morrison. For readers interested, we share a recent Farmer’s Weekly article in which Professor Gow explains how current high food prices are driven by the value chain – not farmers. It’s good background to our current value chain context. 

In Alumni in the Spotlight, we share recent news on Jessie Chan, 2012 Kellogg Scholar, and Hamish Murray, 2019 Nuffield Scholar. 

Stay well, and we hope you enjoy this issue. 

The team at Rural Leaders.

Message from our CEO.

Chris Parsons, MNZM, DSD, CMinstD.

Chris Parsons, CEO New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust

Chris Parsons takes a moment to highlight a key development that the Rural Leaders’ team have been working on for just over a year.

He also acknowledges the achievements that Nuffield and Kellogg Scholars and the NZ Rural Leaders family have made over the last 12 months.    

Ideas that grow podcast.

Lynsey Stratford - Changing how we work.

Lynsey Stratford has discovered farmers make a few assumptions that aren’t very helpful – like accepting the fact that work might be dangerous and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. As Lynsey explains, “There are changes we can make, but those assumptions and those mindsets have been deeply held for quite some time.” 

As a consultant, Lynsey helps the primary sector with people management and development services and training. And, when it comes to health and safety she says, “We shouldn’t expect people to just know this stuff, but rather teach them and support them as they develop skills.” 

Lynsey’s research report unpacks the paradox that while farmers care about their people, farms as workplaces are overrepresented in fatal accident and injury statistics. So, what can be done to improve this?

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

Kellogg takes its 1000th step forward.

One of the things Kellogg really understands, is the value of exposing Scholars to leaders. These are some of the most accomplished senior industry people, all eager to engage in conversations with Scholars, hungry to learn and grow. Kellogg creates a unique interface for that knowledge transfer.  

“People know the programme. It’s respected. They’ve seen the contributions that the Kellogg graduates have made over time”, says Dr Scott Champion, Programme Director. 

“I think it speaks to the brand and standing of the Programme. There’s an opportunity to use the Kellogg brand to be able to talk to industry people and have some conversations that you might not otherwise be able to do”, adds Dr Champion. 

Hear some more thoughts from our delivery team here. 

The Kellogg Programme landscape for the next 12 months.

With accreditation now firmly part of the Kellogg ecosystem, and our 1000th Scholar just graduating, 2023 looks set to be a perfect time to complete the Programme.  

The next few months sees three more phases delivered, before 2023’s programmes kick off in late January. Here’s a quick look at the Kellogg Programme landscape for the next 12 months. 

Kellogg Whanganui, Phase Two, Wellington.

12-16 September.

Kellogg Whanganui, Phase Three.
17-21 October.

Kellogg Lincoln, Phase Three. 
28 November – 2 December. 

Kellogg Programme One, Lincoln: 24 January – 7 July 2023 

Applications close: Sunday, 30 October 2022.

Kellogg Programme Two, Lincoln: 13 June – 30 November 2023 
Applications close: Sunday, 16 April 2023.

There’s been a steady stream of registrations of interest for Kellogg Programme One 2023. This begins in January and the application period closes 30 October.  

Do your Kellogg in 2023.
Remember the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme spans six months and is delivered in smaller blocks, totalling 19 face to face days. This is a key benefit to a busy Food and Fibre Sector as it is an easier format to fit in around your work and family commitments. 

One thousand scholars have graduated so far and are making an impact. You will too.  

Start your 2023 leadership development plans strongly. Registrations of interest and advance your career and your industry. 

Three Kellogg reports worth reading.

In a strong cohort with plenty of good ideas, picking three reports to share in this issue was never going to be an easy job. Scholars covered a range of topics including Pasifika subsistence farming in New Zealand, reducing on-farm waste in dairy, and greenhouse gas emissions from urban development, along with many more. 

The three reports below cover topics as diverse as arable, agri-business and red meat and all explore a strong idea that could benefit the primary sector. 

Fraser Dymond – Should New Zealand be trading maize forage on quality parameters? 
Is there an opportunity in New Zealand to trade maize forage on quality parameters for the benefit of growers and purchasers? 

Emily Walker – Investment management meets agriculture – Evidence based decision making for small agri-business. 
Increased regulation, public expectations, carbon emissions, and labour mean an integrated decision-making approach to deliver transformational change programmes is required. 

Will Halliday – Red meat traceability with blockchain. 
Blockchain is a new, secure way to record and store information digitally. When integrated with other technologies it could hold the key to pasture to plate red meat traceability. 

Emily Walker_Investment management Decision making_Kellogg report image

Investment Management meets Agriculture.

This research report attempts to provide specific support for agri-business leaders. It focuses on answering the question: Does an evidence-based approach to decision making improve ...
Read More →
William Halliday Kelogg report image

Red meat traceability with blockchain.

This research project aims to understand the benefits, drawbacks, drivers, and barriers to blockchain adoption in NZ red meat supply chains, and in doing so ...
Read More →
Fraser Dymond Kellogg report image

Should New Zealand be trading maize forage on quality parameters?

This report investigates the important metrics of maize forage quality and how they can be positively influenced. It also looks at how we could trade ...
Read More →

2022 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarship Awards.

On Wednesday evening Rural Leaders hosted the 2022 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarship Awards in Wellington. This was an opportunity to formally award scholarships to Parmindar Singh, Lucie Douma and Anthony Taueki – a year later than planned. 

While it was a smaller occasion than it might have been, it was no less important. Hon. Minister Damien O’Connor, was again generous with his time.

A special thank you to our Strategic Partners, Agmardt, DairyNZ, Beef+LambNZ, Mackenzie Charitable Trust, and FMG for their continued support. 

Read the full article here.

The road to the 2023 Nuffield Scholarship winner’s announcement.

With the 2023 Nuffield Scholarship applications now closed. In all, we received 27 applications. This is up on the past two years. Industries represented were red meat, agri-business, government, viticulture, dairy, advocacy, wool, forestry, and horticulture.  

The next ten weeks sees a few key steps on the road to the announcement of the successful Scholarship recipients in Wellington, Tuesday 8 November. 

7 September 2022

Shortlist made.

The shortlist for interviews is agreed by Chris Parsons, Rural Leaders CEO and the Nuffield Trustees.

7 September 2022

10 September 2022

Shortlisted candidates notified.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified around 10 September. 

10 September 2022

6-7 October

Interviews held.

The interviews are generally held in Christchurch and are conducted by Board, Partner, and Rural Leaders representatives.

6-7 October

10 October 2022

All candidates informed of selection results.

10 October 2022

8 November 2022

Scholarships formally awarded.

This is held in Wellington. The Hon Damien O’Conner presents the awards to new Scholars. It’s an evening to not only celebrate the new Scholarship recipients, but also hear from previous Scholars too.

8 November 2022

Good luck to all those who applied. If you miss out this year, consider applying for 2024’s Scholarships. Successful applicants have often missed out at least once before.  

Nuffield Triennial International Conference and Rural Leaders Agribusiness Summit.

The Nuffield Triennial site is now live. Visit us here

We’ll be adding more pricing and registration information over the weekend, so check back early next week for the latest.

Triennial dates reminder.

Friday, 24 March – Sunday, 2 April 2023

Agribusiness Summit dates reminder.

Monday, 27 March 2023


If you would like to know more about partnering with us, please contact John Wright at

Value Chain Innovation Programme Logo

The Value Chain Programme is now a work and family-friendly one week.

Programme now runs 13 – 19 November. 
The decision has been made to run the programme for one week, with a focus on North Island dairy, red meat, horticulture, technology, and kiwifruit value chains – to name a few. 
It is ideal for operational leaders looking to open-up their strategic thinking ability, and leaders wanting to build disruptive new insights on food and fibre innovation.  

Applications are open until 2 October 2022.  
The programme begins in Auckland, Sunday 13 November and ends with a dinner in Napier on Saturday evening, 19 November.  

The link below is to a one-pager. It gives an overview of what participants can expect and includes the new timings.  

We hope this timing change (and the corresponding price adjustment), will make the programme even more appealing to you, or those on your team.  

What will you gain from participation in the Value Chain Programme? 

You’ll not only gain a pan-sector view, but also, 

  • learn about value chains and models
  • learn how to generate and capture value 
  • meet key industry leaders and make connections
  • form a high-trust cohort of lifelong friends. 

“If you’re in food and fibre, now is the time to be gaining a pan-sector view of as many successful business models as possible”, says Facilitator, Professor Hamish Gow.

To find out more, or to apply visit 

Or for any queries contact Lisa Rogers +64 21 139 6881 or email 

Prof. Hamish Gow talks rising prices and value chains with Farmer’s Weekly.

Speaking to Value Chain Innovation Programme Facilitator, Prof. Hamish Gow, Farmer’s Weekly wrote, “…with consumers openly asking who is making all the money, by opening their books growers can reveal how their costs are rising and margins are being squeezed, showing they are not the primary beneficiary of rising food costs”. 

“The challenge is recognising high prices in NZ are not driven by farmers but by the value chain, mainly wholesalers and supermarkets,” Gow said. 

This is good background to our current value chain environment. At a time when food prices are reaching record levels, Prof. Hamish Gow explains that it’s also the right time to help shift consumer perceptions. About exactly who is profiting, and to extend that to broader conversation about food production. 

Read the full article on the Farmers Weekly website.

Alumni in the spotlight

Hamish Murray, 2019 Nuffield Scholar on Country Calendar.

If you missed the recent episode of Country Calendar featuring Hamish Murray of Bluff Station, grab yourself a cuppa, settle in and watch it on TVNZ+.  

The episode centres on three generations of the Murray family, the Bluff Station team, and the incredible scenery from one of New Zealand’s largest privately held farms.  

Here’s the link to the episode, though you will need to login or sign up to TVNZ+ to view (it’s free).

Jessie Chan, 2012 Kellogg Scholar.

About her fit for the the NZPork board Jessie humbly said, “I guess you’d call me a jack of all trades in some respects, but hopefully I can bring that to help producers get better value for their products.” 

You can hear the full interview and read the article here.

Jessie was awarded an MNZM in the New Year Honours list in 2022 for services to dairy and agriculture. She has been contributing to the dairy and agricultural industry through her management and governance roles for 20 years. 

Education initiative supported by Nuffield Scholar.

Ben Todhunter, 2006 Nuffield Scholar, has been supporting students from his local High School participating in the Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) Programme. You can read about Ben’s work to provide the kids with insights into the science behind his knowledge of farming systems.

“I was a bit uncomfortable with the role of teacher in this format. Farming in our area has been tough, weatherwise, for the last three months but I tried to convey some of the wonder I have for the land and what can come from the land”, Said Ben Todhunter.

Read the original post on LinkedIn here.

Lisa Rogers, Rural Leaders
Lisa Rogers from Rural Leaders with Craig Armitage, PwC

Lincoln University ‘LincUp’ alumni networking event held.

The LU Alumni and Development team held the first Christchurch LincUp event in the city in over two years on Wednesday 24 August. About the event the team wrote, 

Craig Armitage (Canterbury Managing Partner and China Business Group Lead, PwC New Zealand) warmly introduced Vice-Chancellor, Professor Grant Edwards to the group, who then updated the group on the latest Lincoln University news, including information on student numbers, campus development activities, and gave an insight into future opportunities happening for the university.  This was followed by a Q & A session. 

Alumni and Development Manager Naomi Wilde said it was wonderful for Lincoln to be back hosting events in the city again. 

“We really enjoyed hosting Lincoln alumni from such a wide range of industry backgrounds and ages – the ages ranged from 21 – 95 years old!  We look forward to running more events throughout New Zealand as we know that Lincoln alumni value these opportunities to connect with each other.” 

Escalator 2023 – Agri-Women’s Development Trust.

This is a time for more purpose-driven women to stand up and lead our sector and rural communities through change.  

That’s why our friends @AgriWomensDevelopmentTrust are running Escalator 2023 – an impact leadership accelerator programme. 

Escalator is about unleashing your true self in the service of others. Reconnecting with your strengths, embracing your leadership style and developing the hard and soft skills that define modern, mission-orientated leadership.  

If you’re ready to lead people through change, apply by 10 October at 

Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools.

Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools.

Inspiring the Future Aotearoa – NZ Young Farmers, the Ministry for Primary Industries and GoHort have teamed up to run Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools events to help show young people the range of exciting work in our food and fibre sectors. 

These events will connect students from local schools with people from the food and fibre sectors through Inspiring the Future sessions, where volunteer role models meet students to tell the story of their jobs. 

The events are looking for around 30 people from the food and fibre sectors in Canterbury, and around 50 in Auckland, to sign up to be the volunteer role models 

Email if you have any questions or requests. 

Event details 

There are events in Canterbury and Auckland, running from 10am to 2pm. In Canterbury role models will do one Inspiring the Future session and then take part in some other fun activities. In Auckland there are two sessions per day. 

How to sign up?

Volunteers use this form to express their interest.

Inspiring Food and Fibre Futures in Schools is part of Inspiring the Future, an initiative that aims to broaden the career horizons of tamariki and challenge stereotypes by connecting volunteer role models with schools.  

Muka Tangata Future of Food and Fibre Workforce Report released.

The report draws on a literature review of international trends and developments, interviews with industry experts, and a series of hui in 13 regional centres across the country and with rangatahi online. 

Read the report here: Future-of-the-Food-and-Fibre-Workforce-June-2022.pdf ( 

An Initial Sector Workforce Development Plan 2022 for the food and fibre sector has also been released. The plan summarises priority areas of focus for vocational education and training for the food and fibre sector. It proposes actions and focus areas for the year ahead.   

View the Initial Sector Workforce Development Plan and Food and Fibre Futures report here: 

Muka-Tangata-Initial-Sector-Workforce-Development-Plan-2022.pdf ( 

Contact the Engagement and Partnerships team at  

50th session of the Committee on world food security.

Discussions at the CFS 50 plenary session will focus on: the 2022 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report and responses to the global food crisis, endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment, endorsement of policy recommendations on Promoting Youth Engagement and Employment in Agriculture and Food Systems, review of the CFS Multi-Year Programme of Work, and much more. 

CFS50 will also have 32 side events over the four days. You can few the side event schedule here. 

The link to the CFS 50 Provisional Agenda and Timetable is linked. 

Please send your request for registration to Ashleigh at  

CFS50 will be followed by the Science and Innovation Forum, World Food Forum (youth), and Investment Forum of FAO from 17-21 October.  

Registration for the Science and Innovation Forum has not yet opened. If you are interested in taking part in the Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum please indicate your interest to Ashleigh. 

The organisers look forward to welcoming many of you to Rome. 

Leadership opportunities

Beef+Lamb New Zealand

Associate Director - Wellington

Principal Adviser Aquatic Animal Health

Head of Sustainability - Global, Grower & Supply Chain


Programme Manager - Resilient Dairy

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