Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

July 2022

Welcome to the July issue of the Rural Leader. 

In this month’s Ideas that Grow podcast, we hear from Julian Raine, a 1997 Nuffield Scholar. Bryan Gibson from Farmer’s Weekly and Julian spoke recently about the horticultural piece of a diverse operation that also includes dairy.  

Julian is an innovator with stacks of vision. This is a good podcast to listen to on the importance of not sitting still. 

There’s under three weeks left to let us know about anyone you’d like to see receive a Nuffield Scholarship. Now or at some point in the future. Better yet, let them know yourself. Applications close 14 August. 

Lucie Douma, 2022 Nuffield Scholar has been busy. We join her, kind of, on a five-minute tour of the US’s agriculture scene. 

2020/2021 Nuffield Scholars Ben Anderson, Lynsey Stratford, David Eade, Phil Weir, and Ben McLauchlan, talked to Chris Parsons, Rural Leaders’ CEO. We share five, ten-minute videos covering their final research reports.

The Value Chain Innovation Programme is gearing up for its new November start date. Some of the country’s sharpest and most passionate value chain and rural leadership minds will facilitate this programme.  

Participants will connect and learn from value chain leaders the length of New Zealand. Applications are open until 18 September. 

A thought-provoking series of final presentations were delivered by Kellogg Lincoln, Programme One Scholars two weeks ago. Topics asked and answered questions from ‘why are there no regulations around urban development carbon emissions’, ‘what is the impact of exotic carbon forestry on NZ’, and ‘what is the extent of Pasifika subsistence farming in NZ?’ We share this latest cohort’s hard work. 

In Alumni in the Spotlight, we recently brought you an article by Farmstrong ‘Prospering through change’ where Corrigan Sowman, 2019 Nuffield Scholar, gave his thoughts on how farmers can try to tackle the changes happening in agriculture. This month Kate Scott, Rural Leaders’ Chair and 2018 Nuffield Scholar, briefly shares her thoughts on reframing how we look at regulations. 

Read all this and much more in July’s Rural Leader. Stay well, and we hope you enjoy this issue. 

The Team at Rural Leaders.

Ideas that grow podcast.

Julian Raine – The apple of a robot’s eye.

Julian Raine is a 1997 Nuffield Scholar who quietly gets on with things worth shouting about. He’s a humble bloke who only mentions some of the clever things he’s doing after a fair bit of asking.  

Julian runs a mixed horticulture and dairy operation. And, no matter what he’s producing, the one constant is innovation. From robots to getting the blue tick from the SPCA for a new all-weather cowshed, Julian has an entrepreneur’s motivation and an innovator’s foresight. 

He talked with Farmer’s Weekly Editor Bryan Gibson about his Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarship, some of the challenges he has encountered and some of the innovations he’s created to meet them – including moving to robot-ready on some of his orchards.

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

Kellogg Lincoln, Programme One 2022, final reports.

Kellogg Lincoln (K46), Programme One 2022, graduated two weeks ago after completing their final reports and presentations.  

Thought-provoking ideas were shared on topics such as: the impacts of exotic carbon forestry on rural New Zealand, water resilience, Pasifika subsistence farming in New Zealand, reducing on-farm waste in dairy, red meat traceability using blockchain, and greenhouse gas emissions from urban development, along with many more. 

We shared these reports with our partners earlier this week. This is the first wider share. The reports can be read by heading to the cohort link below and selecting any of the report tiles you’d like to read about further. 

Kellogg - The next six months.

Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme January 2022 cohort

We’re back to the normal experiential delivery of the Kellogg Programme. We expect a few to zoom in from time to time.  

While the programme is best experienced in-person, the option to participate online is there if needed. This has been especially useful to Scholars who are based farther afield. 

Registrations of interest have been steady for Programme One 2023, Lincoln January start. Now is the time to talk to your employer or to start planning your occasional absence from your operation. One thousand scholars have graduated over the last few decades. Is it your turn to deepen your leadership offering? 

Kellogg Whanganui, Phase Two, Wellington. 
Kellogg Whanganui (K47) get their Phase Two started next week, with an inspiring five days, four nights in Wellington, where they will unpack the political, economic, and environmental elements impacting food and fibre. This cohort will do their final Phase Three in mid-October.  

Then it’s a busy run to the end of the year with Kellogg Lincoln, Programme Two’s Phase Two in Wellington, and their final Phase Three in Lincoln, towards the end of November. 

We’re getting a steady stream of registrations of interest for Kellogg Programme One 2023. This starts in January and the application period closes 30 October.  

Executive leadership learning that makes an impact. 
One important benefit of the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme is that while it may span six months it is delivered in smaller blocks that fit in around your work.  

This means less impact on your business and more on your professional development. This highly regarded executive leadership programme delivers leaders the skills and mindset to tackle the challenges this fast-changing Food and Fibre Sector faces.  

Make 2023 count, register your interest, and advance your career and your industry. 

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.

Nine new tips to nailing your Nuffield Scholarship application.

If you’re intending to apply for next years’ incredible Nuffield Scholarship Programme – one that includes March’s Vancouver based Contemporary Scholars’ Conference – now’s probably the time you’re feeling some mild panic. So, breathe like weightlifter, cup-of-tea like Nan, and read our ‘Nine new tips to nailing your Nuffield application’.

Who knows, it just might give you the edge.

2020 and 2021 Scholars discuss their Nuffield final reports with Chris Parsons.

In this series of talks with Chris Parsons, five 2020 and 2021 Nuffield Scholars discuss their research.

Lynsey Stratford challenges health and safety assumptions and discusses building capability to support better work practices and farming. 

David Eade talks about redesigning New Zealand farming through change. He believes that farmer’s resistance to environmental regulation is meaning they are losing their hold on their place in the power hierarchy.  

Ben Anderson’s research was on the economic and environmental sustainability in the New Zealand red deer industry. It makes a case for change. 

Phil Weir’s research ‘Restructuring industry good for the future’ poses that in the face of the climate crisis, generational change, and increasingly diversified agri-business, Team Agriculture needs to be brave enough to review the structures that underpin the ‘industry good’ system.  

Ben McLauchlan discusses a potential new model for change powered by trust, engagement and one that allows for greater transparency and understanding between producers and consumers.

Eight final research reports from 2020 and 2021’s Nuffield Scholars.  
Take time to read some (or all) of our 2020 and 2021 Nuffield Scholar’s final research reports. Their work covers topics from changing consumer expectations to structural change to New Zealand Agriculture, and from agricultural science and innovation to environmental regulation. 

Nuffield Scholars on the road.

Soon after Lucie Douma and Parmindar Singh returned from their Nuffield CSC in the UK, Lucie was traveling again. This time in North America.  

Lucie Douma is four weeks into her US trip that has so far covered: California, Illinois, Wisconsin, and more. She is currently in Texas and will round out her travel visiting Washington DC, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon. Find out more.

Lucie is gathering information and insights on her Interoperability work. The working title of her research topic is  On-farm data management and governance: Creating a system and understanding where farmers benefit from data.

Parmindar Singh. 
Parmindar recently returned from South America as she works on her topic Exploring Trade and Market Opportunities for New Zealand Dairy.  

Anthony Taueki. 
Anthony heads to Hawaii in August and mainland US (Navajo Nation) in December as he dives deeper into his topic, Pathways into primary industries from the grassroots up.  

2023 Nuffield Triennial and One Day Summit.

The Triennial and Summit will deliver inspiration and connection to all who attend. Be sure to pencil Friday 24 March 2023. That’s day one of the Triennial and it runs through to week beginning 3 April.  

The One-Day Summit is scheduled for Monday 27 March.

For both components of the Triennial, you’ll be able to book from October. We’ll keep you posted on where and how to do that closer to the date. 

Cromwell Basin
Value Chain Innovation Programme Logo

The Value Chain Innovation Programme – gain an entrepreneurial edge.

Chris Parsons, Rural Leaders’ CEO and Professor Hamish Gow, Lincoln University, share some thoughts in a short article on this unique entrepreneurial leadership programme. 

“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 Prof. Gow. 

By participating in the Value Chain Innovation 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 
  • and you’ll form a high-trust cohort of lifelong friends. 

Chris Parsons, James Parsons, Chairman Wools of NZ, and Dr Scott Champion, Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme Director, may join some or all the two-week immersion tour. This means that some of the country’s sharpest and most passionate value chain and rural leadership minds will be present. 

It will be a networking opportunity like no other, allowing participants to connect and learn from leading value chains the length of the country.

Find out more  or  download the flyer.

Alumni in the spotlight

Prospering through change continues.

In Corrigan Sowman’s recent Farmstrong article, the 2019 Nuffield Scholar shared his thoughts with Nigel Beckford on how he has brought much of what he has learnt about tackling change into his own farming operation. 

“Fundamentally, farmers have got to become a little more self-aware of the way they’re thinking and more open to change. We’re not going to tackle any of the challenges in front of us unless we can think our way through them.”  

Kate Scott adds to this with a short message we filmed recently in Cromwell. Kate is Rural Leaders Chair, 2018 Nuffield Scholar, and a business owner who is passionate about helping farmers navigate the regulatory environment.  

Jack Cocks – Lucky to be alive. Jack is a 2021 Kellogg Scholar, and sheep and beef farmer – in 2013 he almost died from an aneurysm. “I’m very lucky to be here”, says Jack. In this article by Farmstrong, Jack continues to share with other farmers what his recovery taught him about resilience.

New research centre signals change for plant production industry.

Matt Dolan, 2009 Kellogg Scholar, and NZPPI CEO, has been involved in the forming of an agreement to develop a new research centre in a move intended to reverse more than 20 years of decline in New Zealand’s plant research and training systems.  

Matthew Dolan said the new agreement signalled a step change for the plant production industry: “The new centre will put plant producers in the driving seat, making science and education relevant and accessible, as well as faster and more cost-effective.” 

The new research centre will be based at Lincoln University. Read the article by Lincoln University. 

Entries are still open (only just) for the NZI Rural Women NZ Business Awards 2022.

This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the creativity and innovation of our rural women entrepreneurs. Please spread the word in your networks. The NZI Rural Women NZ Business Awards’ Team would like to hear about any candidate recommendations you may have. 

You can find more information at the Business Awards web page, including the entry form.

The B+LNZ South Canterbury + Central Canterbury Farming for Profit:  Winter Seminar Series.

Engage your whole team and discover how to create resilient farm systems that prosper in the future with Beef+Lamb NZ’s ‘Tactics for Tight Times’ Winter Seminar. These two events will highlight specific financial and farm management tactics for tight times – tailored to all stages, from young shepherds to farm owner operators in the sheep and beef industry.

For more information, visit the seminars’ page here.

Leadership opportunities

Senior Scientist

The role works closely with Grant Blackwell – Chief Science Advisor, to deliver high quality scientific advice and support to the Commission’s people and work programme. They will contribute their knowledge and expertise to our reports and outputs and help ensure our work is of high quality, fit for purpose and will also help set the scientific culture of the Commission.

The role would suit an early career researcher with a strong background in climate science, a willingness to engage with a wide range of scientific disciplines and other sources of knowledge, and an interest in applying their expertise in helping solve complex public policy problems.

The successful candidate could come from within Aotearoa or internationally. 
Applications for this role close at 5.00pm on Monday 08th August 2022. 

Find out more here or email

FMG Chief Marketing Officers

MPI Senior Policy Advisor

Innovation Capabilities Leader

Transformation Change Manager

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. 

Call to all scholars: Update your details.

FMG Chief Marketing Officers - Wellington/Auckland

The new Chief Marketing Officer will lead the marketing function to drive profitable and sustainable business growth through the design, development and coordinated delivery of client propositions and user experiences across all channels.

Find out more

MPI Senior Regional Advisor – Gisborne

The role is responsible for managing the biosecurity risk to New Zealand by developing import requirements and assessing permit applications. The Plant Products team deals with the import of grains, animal feeds, laboratory specimens, processed plant commodities as well as setting facility standards for New Zealand

Find out more

FMG Finance Business Partner – Wellington

Far from the traditional management accountant role of delivering black and white answers, we’re looking for someone who can provide a well-rounded contribution through identifying risks and opportunities and challenging conventional thinking.

Find out more 

It’s important for us to keep your contact and other details up to date. Please take a few minutes to fill out our form by clicking on the relevant logo below. This information will not be used outside of our organisation without your permission. Thank you.

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We’re looking for your top shots.

You can probably spot a stock image a mile away, right? We think there’s nothing better than the authentic photos you’ve taken – to celebrate our sector. Especially the good ones. We’re after the shots you’re happy to share with us of your primary sector experiences, here or abroad. 

These could be on-farm, from businesses across the value chain, or any shot you think exemplifies the primary sector, its people, and its many textures. 

This isn’t a competition. Quite honestly, we just need more imagery. Can you help us out? Here’s a few shots others have shared with us recently. 

Fire shots (at least 1mb file size) through to 

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