Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

November 2022

Welcome to the November issue of the Rural Leader newsletter.

In this month’s Ideas that Grow Podcast we hear from former New Zealand Prime Minister, and 1984 Kellogg Scholar, Dame Jenny Shipley. Dame Jenny spoke on leadership at the highest level and on the need to keep challenging industry to push young people forward to develop as leaders. 

With leadership the driving theme behind this month’s Rural Leader, our CEO Chris Parsons, featured in an article discussing the new reality of accelerating change and how young leaders need to be given the space to step up. 

The Value Chain Innovation Programme’s week – long tour along North Island novel, disruptive and established value chains concluded on Saturday. Participants on this fully subscribed immersive learning experience graduated on Saturday night at a dinner in Napier. We’ll share some more on the programme. 

The 2023 Nuffield Awards took place on 8 November at Parliament, where four stellar food and fibre leaders presented their scholarships by Hon. Minister Damien O’Connor. The four scholars were selected from the highest number of applicants since 2018. We share more on the Awards and on the Scholars 

Kellogg Whanganui (K47) graduated a few weeks ago. This was a smaller cohort, but with no less rigour and enthusiasm for their topics of study. We can now share their reports with you. Broad topics include: Māori governance in agricultural co-operatives, land use change, dairy workforce retention and indoor growing systems.  

Applications for 2023’s Kellogg Lincoln Programme One, 24 January start, have closed with a strong level of applications. Kellogg Programme Two, June start, is now open to fishers, farmers, foresters, growers and agribusiness professionals. Do you know someone who should apply? 

We’re pleased to announce the AGMARDT Trustees have recently decided to give further support to the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme. AGMARDT is already a New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust Investing Partner, but this is additional support specifically for the Kellogg Programme. We share more on this fantastic news.  

If you’re considering taking your team or bringing yourself along to the 2023 Rural Leaders Agribusiness Summit, consider no longer. Set for the 27 March, Christchurch Town Hall, this one-day industry forum boasts a strong line up of national and international speakers, panels, solutions-focused case studies, debate and discussion. To be blunt, anyone receiving this Rural Leader should probably be there. 

And finally, in Alumni in the Spotlight, we share recent news about Corrigan Sowman, 2019 Nuffield Scholar and Daniel Eb, 2021 Nuffield Scholar.  

Stay well, and we hope you enjoy this issue.  

The team at Rural Leaders.

Ideas that grow podcast.

Dame Jenny Shipley: On Leadership. On Point.

Dame Jenny Shipley, this country’s first Woman Prime Minister – and a 1984 Kellogg Scholar, offers Farmers Weekly Editor Bryan Gibson some insights on leadership in the regulatory environment.  

Dame Jenny discusses the rural urban divide and how farmers and growers need to share more about the positive ways in which agriculture responds to the concerns urban communities have. 

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

We hope you enjoy this informative and engaging podcast. 

2023 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarships awarded.

This year, only four Scholars were selected, making the competition to gain a coveted Scholarship even tougher. Each Scholar brings talent, passion, perspective, and a track record of performance. Their job now is to find insights and build foresight to benefit our sector. 

“We wish to acknowledge all those who applied. The field of applicants was particularly strong and representative of the regions and industries within our Sector. It is safe to say, there is some real talent in our regions,” Said Chris Parsons, CEO, Rural Leaders.

Meet the Scholars and read the full announcement and find out more about the 2023 Nuffield cohort here. 

Rural Leaders Agribusiness Summit 2023

The Summit theme ‘Forefront’ focuses on those businesses making change  
now – those that provide solutions to the sector’s, and the world’s, biggest agribusiness challenges and opportunities. 

Set for March 27, at the Christchurch Town Hall, this one-day, multi sector forum looks set to be one of the key industry events for 2023.  

“… The day is designed for farmers, growers and associated industries with a focus on real and practical answers,” Says Murray King, Summit Day Chair. 

To find out more about the Summit, visit the event page. 

Value Chain Innovation Programme 2022 Cohort
Value Chain Innovation Programme Logo

The Value Chain Innovation Programme - Sector value-add.

Rural Leaders and Lincoln University have just wrapped up a collaborative delivery of The Value Chain Innovation Programme, a seven-day bus tour of New Zealand’s four major value chains: dairy, red meat, kiwifruit, and apples. 

A fully subscribed programme of 22 students, including senior growers, farmers, consultants, industry professionals and government took part in this North Island value chain immersion. 

Read the full article >>

Rural Leaders News

Nuffield Triennial International Conference.

The Nuffield Triennial site is now live. Visit us here

Triennial dates: Friday, 24 March – Sunday, 2 April 2023

Agribusiness Summit date: Monday, 27 March 2023

For more information on the Agribusiness Summit click here and here.

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

Kellogg Whanganui – final research reports now available.

As always, we are excited by the talent, commitment and insights shown by our Kellogg Scholars. They are deeply grounded in Food and Fibre Sector and come from multiple industries and parts of our value chains. 

A big part of our impact model at Rural Leaders, in addition to the personal growth that each scholar achieves, is based on the individual research reports. 

Kellogg Whanganui Scholars brought their talent and passion: and now leave the programme having delved deeply into a topic of their choosing and are equipped to think and act strategically. 

Looking ahead, our sector needs an abundance of grounded-strategic leaders if we are to successfully navigate our fast-changing environment.  

Take a look at the research reports here. 

Kellogg - the year ahead.

Kellogg Programme Two (K50), 2023 June start is open for registrations. This Programme will mark fifty Kellogg cohorts, or over 1000 scholars. 

We share the Kellogg Programmes schedule for the next seven months, leading up to and including Programme Two – K50. 

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

Applications for Programme One, 2023 are now closed. We were pleased with the level and number of applications for this highly regarded programme.  

Phase One (Lincoln): 
Tuesday 24 January – Wednesday 1 February 2023. 
Phase Two (Wellington): 
Monday 17 April – Friday 21 April 2023. 

Phase Three (Lincoln): 
Monday 3 July – Friday 7 July 2023. 

Kellogg Programme Two, Lincoln: 13 June – 30 November 2023 

Applications for Programme Two, 2023 are open. You can register your interest and/or apply at 

Here are Programme Two’s key dates. 
Phase One (Lincoln): 
Tuesday 13 June – Wednesday 21 June 2023. 

Phase Two (Wellington): 
Monday 11 September – Friday 15 September 2023. 

Phase Three (Lincoln): 
Monday 27 November – Thursday 30 November 2023. 

Applications close on Sunday, 16 April 2023. Get your application in before Christmas to confirm your place. 


Register your interest and advance your career and your industry.

Alimni, fire us an email to let us know who you believe we should send the 2023 Kellogg brochure to.

AGMARDT supports leadership development with new Kellogg Scholarships.

AGMARDT Trustees have approved support for three new scholarships that seek to improve access to leadership development. A critical piece on the rural leadership pathway is the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme. AGMARDT’s support will manifest as three scholarships specifically for the Kellogg Programme.

“We are grateful to AGMARDT for their continued support of leadership development in the Food and Fibre Sector. The support announcement reflects AGMARDT Trustees’ desire to make leadership development as widely accessible as possible…”, Said Chris Parsons, Rural Leaders CEO.  

Read the article here. 

Make space for young rural leaders.

Highly motivated, purpose-driven young leaders have been educated differently to current leaders. Chris believes room needs to be made for the voices of young rural leaders to be heard in the debate over the current challenges facing the farming sector. 
Check out the full article here. 

Alumni in the spotlight

Corrigan Sowman elected Board Director at LIC AGM.

Corrigan Sowman, 2019 Nuffield New Zealand Scholar

At the Annual Meeting, South Island shareholders elected Corrigan Sowman as their new Board Director, resulting in even representation of farmer-elected Board Directors between the two islands (three North Island; three South Island) as voted for by shareholders in 2020.

Corrigan Sowman is the owner, and director of Uruwhenua Farms, a 400ha dairy operation in Golden Bay. He’s also a member of the Fonterra Sustainability Advisory Panel, who provide independent advice to Fonterra’s Senior Management Team and Board. 

He is also 2019 Nuffield New Zealand Scholar.

Read more about Corrigan’s appointment here. 

Daniel Eb urges farming leaders to be proactive.

In an interview with Neal Wallace from Farmes Weekly, Daniel Eb, 2021 Nuffield Scholar, explains his views about the current challenges and choices New Zealand farming faces.

“…The world in 2050 will be vastly different from the world today. What will be the farming sector’s place in the that world?” 

Daniel Eb believes successive farming leaders for the past 20 years have let down their constituents by not looking ahead and confronting our looming challenges, resulting in what he calls the current “crash carbon programme”.  

Read his short, though-provoking article here

Click here to access Daniel’s recently released Nuffield report.

Scroll down for more information on another initiative Daniel brings to live with some of his fellow Nuffield and Kellogg Scholars on the team.

Daniel Eb 2021 Nuffield NZ Scholar
Daniel Eb, 2021 Nuffield New Zealand Scholar

News from our Partners

DairyNZ recommends changes to emissions pricing proposal.

While DairyNZ stands by the He Waka Eke Noa recommendations developed by the primary sector, in partnership with Government officials, the industry-good organisation and Rural Leaders’ strategic partner, it does not accept the Government’s pricing proposal.  

“It’s unacceptable for farmers, who have made their thoughts very clear on this issue. The Government needs to take this feedback onboard,” said Jim van der Poel. 

Read the full article here.

Industry news

Open Farms Logo

Join New Zealand’s national open farm day.

Open Frams Day

Hosting an Open Farms event is open to all food and fibre producers. Farmer hosts choose the size, format and focus of their event.  

Open Farms is our national open farm day. It’s about helping farmers to open up so that urban Kiwis can reconnect with the people and places that grow their food.   

Hosting an Open Farms event is open to all food & fibre producers. Farmer hosts choose the size, format and focus of their event.  
To support farmers to host an open day, Open Farms streamline the process with a range of hosting planning tools, full marketing support, a ‘box of kit’ and more.  

Post-event research shows that open farm events make a real, positive difference to how urban Kiwis think and feel about farming.  

Open Farms is sponsored by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund. Post 

Let’s help urban Kiwis reconnect with our land, food & farmers.  

Register to host or visit a farm at 

Seeking Research Ideas.

The New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) is seeking research ideas to help develop a new Research & Development (R&D) Plan for soil carbon management.

If you are interested, please see the details here –

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. 

and your best shots.

If you have any great shots you can share with us of your primary sector experiences, here or abroad, we would be very grateful.  Please email your photos to Matt at Many thanks!

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