Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

November 2021

Welcome to the November issue of the Rural Leader. 

Firstly, we’d like to congratulate Lucie Douma, Parmindar Singh and Anthony Taueki, the 2022 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarship recipients! The formal award ceremony is sadly postponed due to Covid, but we are finding other ways to celebrate them in the mean time.

Still with Nuffield, expressions of interest are now being sought from Nuffield Alumni for a Board Trustee role, beginning January 2022. As part of a forward-thinking group of industry leaders, the role supports the Trust and its vision to grow world-class leaders for New Zealand.  

After a great deal of thought, Rural Leaders have made the decision to shift the Value Chain Innovation Programme date from Mid-January to May next year. This has been done to ensure the quality and fullness of programme delivery amid recent COVID19 developments.

This new timing may hold a silver lining in terms of the variety and scale of value chain case studies available in May. We’ll be posting more detail on these changes over the coming days. Interest in the Programme has been high, so be sure to secure your place soon. 

We have another informative ‘ideas that grow’ podcast this month. We interviewed 2018 Nuffield Scholar Dr. Solis Norton. Dr. Norton is a deer farming specialist and an academic thinker who has a passion for energy and how we use it.

In Alumni in the spotlight, we hear from 2014 Nuffield Scholar Mel Poulton. Mel is a farmer and the current Special Agricultural Trade Envoy. Mel talks about some of the changes to trade and policy she has seen since starting in her role, as well as Nuffiled, Brexit, and grappling with a host of global challenges. 

We hope you enjoy this issue. 

The Team at Rural Leaders.

In this issue:

2022 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholars announced.

2022 Nuffield Farming Scholars

We’re not letting the Pandemic get in the way of a good welcome to our new 2022 Nuffield Scholars. Despite the postponement of the formal awarding of the scholarships until February 2022, there will be a few chances to e-meet, or hear from them, in the coming weeks. 

First though, in case you missed it, we are pleased to announce the 2022 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarship recipients. 

The three new scholars are:

Parmindar Singh, a Waikato based Dairy Farm Manager, Company Director, and a recent master’s graduate. 

Anthony Taueki, a horticulturalist from the Hawke’s Bay, leads horticulture courses at Fruition, New Zealand Apples and Pears, Tatau Tatau o te Wairoa, and many more.

Lucie Douma leads a new team at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The team is looking at disruptions to domestic food and fibre supply chains, and primary sector Covid recovery. 

You can read the press release here for full details, including more on our new Scholars and their likely research topics. The group comes from the most diverse range of backgrounds we have seen in recent times. Each Scholar brings a tonne of talent, passion, and perspective. 

Keep an eye on Sarah’s Country for a new Change Makers Podcast next week. It will be a ‘get to know the new Nuffield Scholars’ interview, with host Sarah Perriam, and Rural Leaders’ CEO Chris Parsons.   

We’ll also hold an Alumni get-together over Zoom in late November. It will be a chance for Nuffield Alumni to ‘formally’ welcome the new Scholars. Alumni, expect an invite soon. 

We look forward to working with all three scholars as they begin their Nuffield journeys in 2022.  

Rural Leaders News

Inviting expressions of interest in a Board of Trustees role.

Expressions of interest are open for Nuffield Alumni until 26 November 2021, for a rare opportunity to be involved in primary sector, education, and leadership governance. 

Find out more >>

Ideas that grow podcast.

Dr. Solis Norton: A passion for Energy.

In this month’s episode, Bryan Gibson from Farmers Weekly talks to Dr. Solis Norton about the complexities of energy and how we measure its use, in the context of a world shifting from fossil fuel dependency to embracing alternative forms of energy.

Listen to his podcast here.

Alumni in the spotlight.

Insights from a farmer and Special Agricultural Trade Envoy.

2014 Nuffield Scholar Mel Poulton is someone with a unique perspective. Well, two really.

As both a food producing farmer and New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, we asked Mel to share her perspectives on trade, Nuffield, Brexit, and an industry grappling with significant global challenges.

Read the full article >>

We're a finalist at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Awards!

The New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust was chuffed to be named as a finalist in the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Awards, alongside the Agri-Women’s Development Trust and Coadette Lowe.  

A special congratulations to 2021 Nuffield Scholar Daniel Eb, a finalist in the Rural Champion Award. He’s up against finalists and Kelloggers, Siobahn O’Malley and Wayne Langford, also in the Rural Champion Award. And congratulations to Academic Partners Lincoln University with two finalists.  

With over 100 high quality entries for eight award categories, the judging process was a privilege – according to the judges themselves.

Find out more about it here.

Kellogg Programme dates.

Places are filling fast for the 2022 Kellogg Programmes. If you’re making your professional development plans for 2022, check out our website here.  
If you have questions about the Programmes, contact Programme Manager, Lisa Rogers at or on 021 139 6881.

Kellogg, Januray start, Lincoln

There’s only one week to go until applications close for 2022 Kellogg Programme One at Lincoln. There would be no better way to start the New Year than learning, growing, and achieving great things. Get your application underway now.  

25 January – 8 July 2022
Applications close: 14 November 2021

Having trouble writing your application? No problem, check out this simple writing guide to get started.

Find out more about Lincoln courses  >>>

Kellogg, May start, Whanganui

3 May – 21 October 2022
Applications close: 14 March 2022

Find out more about the 2022 regional course  >>>

Kellogg, June start, Lincoln

21 June – 2 December 2022
Applications close: 17 April 2022

Three must-read Kellogg reports.

With our latest Kellogg cohort’s reports due for release in the coming days, we thought we would go back a few more years for this month’s three must-reads.  

Farmer Storytelling – Navigating our narrative. 
– Lisa Portas, 2019 
Lisa’s report remains a useful exploration into the way effective storytelling can be used to successfully take a product from its on-farm origins, right through to an end consumer.    

Putting a face to the challenges of small, rural businesses in New Zealand. 
– Kate Taylor, 2017 
Kate’s report gives a more personal view of the experiences of small rural business owners and what sources of knowledge are available to help them build success. The report includes three case studies of women who started their own businesses – with kids in tow. 

Funding the flow of milk: Dairy industry capital requirements. 
– Hamish Fraser, 2013 
Take a look back at an industry nearly ten years younger. Hamish’s report sought to understand the total capital invested in dairy and how debt levels could impact the industry’s ability to fund future growth.

Dates have changed for the Value Chain Innovation Programme.

After a great deal of thought, Rural Leaders have made the decision to shift the Value Chain Innovation Programme start date. Initially scheduled for a January 16, 2022 start, it will now be 9 May next year.  We’ve done this to ensure the quality and scope of the programme is not affected. The two-week immersion trip begins 15 May. 

This decision has been made to ensure the quality of the programme’s delivery amid an evolving pandemic situation. This new timing may hold a silver lining in terms of the variety and scale of value chain case studies available in May. 

The new programme dates are: 
Programme runs from 9 May to 19 June.  
Applications close Sunday 20 March 2022 

These changes have been updated on our site too, where you’ll also find all the information you need to get your application underway. Interest in the Programme has been high, so be sure to secure your place soon. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Programme Manager Lisa Rogers at or call 021 139 6881.

We apologise for any inconvenience this change may have created, but we hope to see you in May 2022. 

Obituary for Don Harvey, 1967 Nuffield Scholar.

We were saddened to hear from one of our Alumni, of the very recent passing of Donald ‘Don’ Harvey.

Don was 85, from Tarakaki, and one of the early Nuffield Scholars (1967).

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Don can’t have the open farewell that he would have wanted. An invitation only service will be held on Wednesday 10 November 2021, followed by private interment at Opunake Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed and you are invited to register your interest by emailing

We have linked to the notice placed by family. You can send your condolences to the family here.

News from our partners.

Industry news.

The Primary Sector Marketers Forum will focus on business development, business strategy, and customer and market engagement, to support primary sector growth. Speakers will discuss how organisations can connect and market to the rural sector and how the sector can market its produce. Check here for more details. 

Runs 21-22 February 2022, Wellington. 

For more information head to

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