Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

September 2022

Welcome to the September issue of the Rural Leader newsletter. 

In this month’s Ideas that Grow Podcast we hear from Ben Todhunter, a 2006 Nuffield Scholar. Ben spoke to Farmers Weekly editor Bryan Gibson about his High-country operation ‘Cleardale’ and how the Nuffield Scholarship helped inform his approach to integrating farming and conservation.

The 2023 Rural Leaders Agribusiness Summit tickets are now available. We’ll give you a heads up on some of the confirmed speakers, along with the ‘where and when’ of it all.

The 2023 Nuffield Scholarship selection process is well under way. Interviews are to be held on 6 and 7 October. The awarding of the 2023 Scholarships takes place on the evening of 8 November in Wellington.  

The Value Chain Innovation Programme applications closed on Sunday. For those participating, this will be an extraordinary opportunity to connect with, and learn from industry leaders, facilitators, and a cohort of soon-to-be sector friends. 

We share a recent article from Business Rural South, who interviewed Chris Parsons, Rural Leaders CEO, about building the capability to “…re-think how we’re doing things and redesign our food system for a new era.” 

We have three more Kellogg reports to share in this issue. Be sure to check out reports by recent graduates Conan Moynihan, Susie Woodward and Andrew Myers. 

Still with Kellogg, applications for 2023’s Programme One, 24 January start, close on 30 October. Programme Two, 13 June start applications close 16 April. 2023 will be a fresh start for many in terms of professional and leadership development, after so much recent disruption. 

In Alumni in the Spotlight, we share recent news from Cameron Henderson, 2019 Nuffield Scholar, and 2017 Kellogg Scholar. Cameron spoke about taking up solar to combat higher energy costs, including some of the benefits and watch-outs. 

Stay well, and we hope you enjoy this issue.  

The team at Rural Leaders. 

Ideas that grow podcast.

Ben Todhunter - Farming, conservation and Nuffield. 

Ben Todhunter, a 2006 Nuffield Scholar, talks to Bryan Gibson from Farmers Weekly about his family’s high country station Cleardale, integrating conservation into the operation and into farming systems. Ben also touches on his Nuffield study and how this has informed his own approach to conservation. 

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

The 2023 Rural Leaders Agribusiness Summit.

2023 Rural Leaders Agribusiness Summit tickets are now available. Themed Forefront, the Summit is to be held on Monday 27 March 2023, at the Christchurch Town Hall. 

This pan sector forum will focus on the success stories of innovation and new approaches to Food and Fibre Sector business models.  

The Summit is open to the public, especially industry producers and those working with producers. It will be a fast-paced and inspiring day featuring a line-up of national and international speakers.  

The day concludes with the Summit dinner. 

Find out more about the Summit and dinner here and here.

Chris Parsons on growing leaders in food and fibre.

Business Rural South’s Richard Loader spoke with Chris recently about the bigger picture driving the need for evermore capable leaders. Chris also talks about how the programmes offered by Rural Leaders a contributing to this. 
“Both the Kellogg and Nuffield programmes are aimed at developing strategic leaders. Food and fibre is one of the most undereducated sectors in New Zealand and so, in addition to building their strategic leadership skills, we also want to increase the qualifications we have as a sector.” 
The article is a three minute read. Take a look here.

Our Nuffielders traveling around the world. Where they've been - at a glance.

2023 Nuffield New Zealand Farming Scholarships – what’s next?

One characteristic of the 2023 Scholarship application mix was the range of industries represented. While the best applications win through – it’s good to know the Scholarship has such broad sector appeal.  

Here’s a timeline we shared last issue of key moments leading to the awarding of the successful Scholarship recipients, Tuesday 8 November.  

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.  

The next year for Kellogg.

Here’s a quick look at what’s coming up for Kellogg over the next year.

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.

One of the key benefits of the Programme is that it is delivered in three smaller blocks, totalling 18 face-to-face days. This really does make it easier to conduct professional development and juggle family and work commitments at the same time.  

Register your interest and advance your career and your industry. 

Kellogg Lincoln, Programme One 2022 – three Kellogg reports worth reading.

In this issue we take a look at three more reports from the Scholars of Kellogg Lincoln Programme One, 2022 (K46). The reports cover: water security, mohair and greenhouse gas emissions.  

Susie Woodward
How does the dwindling mohair industry in New Zealand learn to play the infinite game? 

This Kellogg report aims to provide ideas on how to revive the New Zealand mohair industry from the current decline in angora goat numbers. 

Andrew Myers 
Greenhouse gas emission consequences of New Zealand’s urban sprawl. 

Challenging why land use change away from agriculture is promoted to reduce NZ’s emissions when land use change to urban has higher emissions. 

Conan Moynihan 
Water resilience. 
Could water capture and market-based systems solve rural New Zealand’s future water security issues? 

Susie Woodward Kellogg report image

How does a dwindling mohair industry in New Zealand learn to play the infinite game?

The New Zealand mohair industry is not in a place to capitalise on the global trend of increasing use of natural fibres in its current ...
Read More →
Conan Moynihan Kellogg Rural Leadership report image

Water resilience.

Under a changing climate our water security is under threat particularly for New Zealand’s rural communities. Our freshwater resource is at the heart of our ...
Read More →
Andrew Myers Kellogg report image

Greenhouse gas emission consequences of New Zealand’s urban sprawl.

Agriculture is recommended to decrease land area and therefore emissions to help achieve New Zealand’s obligations (New Zealand Productivity Commission, 2018). Then, why is it ...
Read More →

Nuffield Triennial International Conference.

The Nuffield Triennial site is now live. Visit us here

Triennial dates reminder.

Friday, 24 March – Sunday, 2 April 2023

Agribusiness Summit dates reminder.

Monday, 27 March 2023

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


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

Alumni in the spotlight

Alumni in the Spotlight: Cameron ‘Cam’ Henderson, 2019 Nuffield Scholar.

Cam Henderson, 2019 Nuffield New Zealand Scholar

Cameron Henderson owns and operates a 750-cow dairy farm near Oxford, North Canterbury. He’s a Director for Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and an Associate Director for DairyNZ. With degrees in engineering and finance, it’s little wonder that he’s across the pros and cons of switching to solar.  

“There is a big opportunity there for farmers to consider solar, but they do need to understand the value of the land they are offering. There are more parties looking at land to put into panels, but few people with the knowledge to advise farmers on this.” Cam’s Nuffield research explored links between agriculture and energy and how technology can work to harness farmed energy sources including waste matter to supply national energy needs. 

Read the article here.

Lincoln University looks to fungi to protect plants.

This Farmers Weekly article covers some good news for Rural Leaders academic partners, Lincoln University. They’ve received a $10.7 million from the government’s Endeavour fund to research how volatile chemicals produced by fungi can be applied in agriculture to increase plant resistance to stress.  
It is hoped that the products that are eventually produced will deliver a significant advantage for NZ farmers. 

Read the article here.

Leadership opportunities

FAR Board Vacancies

The FAR Nominations and Remunerations Committee (NRC) advises there are three vacancies on the FAR board, two independent terms and one grower representative term, commencing 1 January 2023.

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.​