Rural Leaders New Zealand

The Rural Leader

Your latest issue.

Welcome to this issue of the Rural Leader.

The last few weeks have delivered sad news on the passing of two remarkable people closely connected to Nuffield and the Primary Sector.

The first sad loss was Cedric J Percy, a 1979 Nuffield Scholar. Cedric died peacefully on September 28th, in Masterton, aged 83. 

Rosemary ‘Ro’ Acland passed away at home in Geraldine on September 29th. Ro was married for 63 years to John, a 1968 Nuffield Scholar.

Over the years, Ro and John Acland have been generous to Rural Leaders, opening their property and sharing their knowledge with programme alumni, in particular our Nuffield Scholars. Cedric Percy and Ro Acland will be greatly missed.

The Beef + LambNZ Awards were held in Christchurch last night. We’re thrilled to say Rural Leaders won the Rabobank People Development category. For the team, our board, and our partners, the win walks hand-in-hand with the quiet passion we all have for what we do. #Humbled.

The NZ Rural Leadership Trust is seeking an Independent Trustee to join the board. This represents a rare and exciting governance opportunity for a food and fibre leader. Applications close 15 November.

In this issue’s Ideas that Grow Podcast, Dr Alison Stewart talks to Bryan Gibson, Farmers Weekly managing editor, about the arable industry’s strong place in agriculture, on her role as CEO at FAR, and on delivering research that benefits growers.

Applications for 2024’s Kellogg Programme One close this Sunday 22 October. The Programme begins 23 January at Lincoln. To start 2024 off on the professional development foot (the right one), don’t miss the opportunity to take part in this highly respected programme.

After a rigorous selection process, the 2024 Nuffield Scholars have been chosen. They will be announced after the Awards ceremony held at Parliament on 7 November. The 2024 Scholars represent a diverse range of sector industries including: dairy, red meat, wool, arable, horticulture and agribusiness. 

Value Chain Innovation Programme applications have closed and the tour begins in Auckland on 12 November. The line-up of visits, meetings and panel discussions will see 2023’s cohort take a busy week out from BAU to immerse fully in the fast-changing dairy, red meat, apple and kiwifruit value chains. If you’re interested in joining next year’s programme, register your interest.

In Alumni in the Spotlight, we share news about David Eade, 2021 Nuffield Scholar, Murray King, 2003 Nuffield Scholar, Kylie Leonard, 2023 Nuffield Scholar, and Harriet Bell, 2018 Kellogg Scholar.

We share another excellent book review from Dr Patrick Aldwell in the Rural Reader.

Finally, reach out to us at and get us up-to-date with any changes to your email, workplace or address, and we’ll make sure you’re kept up-to-date with events, offers and news. 

We hope you enjoy this issue,
The Team at Rural Leaders

Ideas that grow podcast.

Dr Alison Stewart: FAR and the role of arable systems in agriculture.

In this podcast, Dr Alison Stewart, talks to Farmers Weekly Managing Editor, Bryan Gibson about the role of arable in agriculture, her role at FAR and delivering research that benefits growers.

Dr Stewart discusses why she enjoys sharing her knowledge and engaging with Scholars on the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme and importance of diversity of thought.

“That’s really important because if you stay in your own industry, in your own space, in your silo, then all that happens is that everybody validates preconceived ideas and it’s really good to be challenged.”

Listen to Dr Stewart’s podcast below or click here to listen to the podcast or read the transcript.

Cedric J. Percy and Rosemary ‘Ro’ Acland pass.

We were sad to hear about the recent passing of Cedric J. Percy, 1979 Nuffield Scholar and Rosemary ‘Ro’ Acland. 

Percy Cedric, 1979 Nuffield Scholar.
On September 28th 2023, peacefully in Masterton, aged 83.

Loving husband of Ronny. Loved father of Edward and Stephanie, Kim Percy, Alistair. Loved Grandad Snow to Matt, Alysha, Jessica, Jayce, Tom, Elise, James and Sam. 

A celebration of Cedric’s life was held at Rosewood in Masterton on Thursday 5th October.

You can share a memory and offer condolences by sending messages to c/- PO Box 2055, Masterton 5842.

Rosemary ‘Ro’ Acland.
On September 29, 2023, at home in Geraldine.

Wife of John for 63 years. Mother and ‘mother in-law’ of Jessica and Jeff, Johnny and Rose, Paul and Paulo, Georgie and Pete, Alexandra and Tussock, Henry and Ling. Dearly loved Granny and Great-Granny.

A celebration of Ro’s life was held at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Geraldine on Saturday 7th October.

You can still share a memory and offer condolences here.

Over the years, Rosemary and John Acland have been generous to Rural Leaders, often opening their property and sharing their knowledge with programme alumni, in particular our Nuffield Scholars.

The images above show Rosemary and John Acland at Mt Peel Station with 2022 Nuffield Scholars Lucie Douma, Parmindar Singh, and Anthony Taueki.

Our thoughts are with John Acland and family and with the family of Cedric Percy.

Independent Trustee – New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust.

Rural Leaders is seeking an Independent Trustee to join its board. This is an exciting opportunity for a food and fibre leader with strategic and governance experience, strong industry networks and a passion for leadership development, to build on their governance journey.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a food and fibre leader with strategic and governance experience, strong industry networks and a passion for leadership development – to build on their governance journey.

Some of the core competencies sought include: Strategic experience, governance experience, professional expertise in one or more of the following areas: food and fibre sector, adult education or training, business skills, marketing.

Applicants are sought with attributes that include: Strong financial skills, an affinity for leadership in Māori and Pacifica agri-business, and horticultural, forestry or aquaculture industry knowledge.

Read more here about this rare governance role.

Applications will close on 15 November 2023 and should be sent to Lisa Rogers, Rural Leaders Chief Executive at

For any questions, please feel free to contact Chairperson, Kate Scott on 0274 957 486, or email

Beef+LambNZ Awards: The Rabobank People Development Award goes to...

The Beef + LambNZ Awards were held in Christchurch last night with Rural Leaders winning the Rabobank People Development category.

For the Rural Leaders team, our board, investing partners and programme alumni, the win walks hand-in-hand with the quiet passion we all have for what we do.

Lisa Rogers, Rural Leaders CEO, said of the win, “Our programme alumni continue to make a positive impact in communities, businesses and for industries across food and fibre. We’re honoured to receive this award, and privileged to be part of so many people’s leadership journey.” 

Take a read of our short article here.

2024 Nuffield Scholars announced 8 November.

The 2024 Nuffield Scholars have been selected and will be announced after the Awards ceremony held at the Grand Hall at Parliament on 7 November. The Nuffield Awards is one of the biggest events we hold, made all the more special by the venue and our Strategic, Programme, Academic, and Professional Partners attending.

The 2024 Scholars represent a diverse range of sector industries including: dairy, red meat, wool, arable, horticulture and agribusiness.

We look forward to announcing the Scholarship winners in the coming weeks. Look out for our press release or check out the next Rural Leader.

Kellogg update.

50th Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme event.

To celebrate the 50th Kellogg cohort’s graduation we are holding an event, open to Kellogg alumni, our partners and close network, at Lincoln University’s Waimarie building, 5:30pm, 30 November. 

If you are Kellogg alumni and haven’t received an invite, get in touch with us. Or, you can grab your ticket here.

Since 1979 this experiential, rural leadership programme has helped to build strong foundations for leadership across the primary industries. The thought, passion, and depth of experience that goes into delivering each programme is second to none.

The 51st Kellogg Programme starts 23 January 2024. While that’s a little way off, the closing date isn’t. The last day to apply for this highly regarded programme is 22 October.

If you want to grow your leadership style, skills and career, apply for 2024’s Programme One by midnight on Sunday. It’s one very positive way to start the year. 

2023 graduate Vanessa Thomson said of her Kellogg experience, 

“Kellogg offers a tangible, well supported pathway that equips us with skills and insights to successfully lead sector conversations behind the farm-gate, within our communities and through our professional roles.”

Key Kellogg dates.

Programme One, Lincoln: 23 January – 12 July 2024

Phase One (Lincoln):
Tuesday 23 January – Wednesday 31 January 2024.
Phase Two (Wellington):
Monday 8 April – Friday 12 April 2024.
Phase Three (Lincoln):
Monday 8 July – Friday 12 July 2024.

Applications close Sunday 22 October, 2023.
Apply for 2024’s Programme One now.


Programme Two, Lincoln: 11 June – 29 November 2024

Phase One (Lincoln):
Tuesday 11 June – Wednesday 19 June 2024.
Phase Two (Wellington):
Monday 9 September – Friday 13 September 2024.
Phase Three (Lincoln):
Monday 25 November – Friday 29 November 2024.

Applications close Sunday 14 April, 2024.
Apply for 2024’s Programme Two now.

Got a spare 6 minutes? Take a look at our Kellogg Brochure here.

Alumni in the spotlight.

David Eade, Murray King, Kylie Leonard, Harriet Bell and Cameron Henderson.

In this issue’s Alumni in the Spotlight, David Eade has penned an article for Farmers Weekly’s ‘Eating the Elephant’. Murray King, Harriet Bell, and Kylie Leonard win awards, and the Cameron Henderson is elected to DairyNZ’s Board.

David Eade, 2021 Nuffield Scholar.
In this issue’s Alumni in the Spotlight, David Eade has penned an article for Farmers Weekly’s ‘Eating the Elephant. The article deftly discusses the case for alternative protein meats in ‘The case for calm on alternative proteins.’

“…the consumer of the future will likely enjoy a diet that is free of most, maybe all, environmental and social side-effects.

She will start her day with a smoothie made with precision-fermented oat milk, lunch will be a cellular meat stir fry, afternoon snack will be cultured yoghurt with a handful of nuts, and that night she might enjoy a carbon-positive steak, reared on a Kiwi farm.” 

Take a read of the article here.

Richard Fowler’s February, 2022 podcast, ‘Alternative proteins – Less a threat, more an opportunity’, is available here too for those who want to dig a little deeper into the patty.

Listen to Richard’s podcast here.

Kylie Leonard, 2023 Nuffield Scholar.

The 2023 Nuffield Scholars have been overseas (some still are) on their travel. This component of the Scholarship Programme is key to the global view and international best-in-class inputs required for an excellent research paper – and a well-rounded Scholar.

One of those to have recently returned from travel abroad is Kylie Leonard. Kylie has just been announced as the Alumni Leader of the Year for the Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF).

Every year CELF and their sponsors hand-pick participants for the Elevate Leadership Programme. Then, once a year they pick their winner from those participants. Congratulations Kylie. Here’s a short post from CELF on the win.

Harriet Bell, 2018 Kellogg Scholar. Murray King, 2003 Nuffield Scholar.
Rural Leaders Trustee, Murray King has been named Co-operative Leader of the Year and Harriet Bell the Emerging Leader of the Year at the Cooperative Business New Zealand Annual Awards.

Harriet is part of the Kellogg trio behind Hemprino. Harriet is also Head of Key Accounts and Sales Experience at Farmlands. In a LinkedIn post, Farmlands wrote “…fantastic recognition of your contribution to the cooperative and the wider sector, Harriet.”

Murray King’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognises his long-standing contribution to LIC and to the sector.

Murray was acknowledged as bringing exceptional leadership and a passionate farmer voice to LIC and the sector.

Further, “Under King’s leadership, LIC has almost doubled the rate of genetic gain on farm in the last decade and grown into one of the largest investors in research and development for the primary sector.

This investment is actively contributing to research programmes to help farmers breed low methane-emitting cows, increase dairy cow heat tolerance, and utilise disease technologies to enhance the health and wellbeing of the national herd.”

You can read the full article from LIC here.

And a LinkedIn post on the award win here.

Cameron Henderson, 2018 Nuffield Scholar.
In a follow-up form last month’s article on Cameron’s campaign for election to the DairyNZ Board, we are pleased to say Cameron was successful.

Current Chair and 2002 Nuffield Scholar, Jim van der Poel, was re-elected.

On the elections, DairyNZ chief financial officer Robyn Marsh said,

“Cameron and Jim are motivated and driven dairy leaders who will have an important role supporting the leadership and direction of DairyNZ, and dairy farming in New Zealand.”

You can read more about both Nuffield Scholars’ success here.

The Rural Reader - Book reviews by Dr Patrick Aldwell.

In this ‘Rural Reader’, Patrick reviews Nature and Farming – Sustaining Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes. David Norton and Nick Reid (2013).

For those farming or working with the agricultural sector, this 300-page book is a useful reference. Patrick states that one of the most useful chapters, “Management Planning and Goal Setting”, should be of particular interest to those involved in or with catchment groups. A great publication to have in your toolbox.

News from our Partners.

Lincoln University's Giving Day - 8 November.

Supporting tomorrow’s future – On Wednesday 8 November, the entire Lincoln community are invited to come together on Giving Day. Help Lincoln University grow its future.

You can learn more and donate here.

DairyNZ – Extensive planting sees native birds increase.

“Wildlife is important to all Kiwis and we want to be part of building biodiversity and continuing to reduce environmental footprint,” says Hinds dairy farmer, Mark Slees.

You can read more here.

Zespri Northern Hemisphere harvest to be the biggest yet.

Zespri’s kiwifruit harvest from the Northern Hemisphere is set to exceed previous sales volumes and help deliver strong returns for growers, along with another great tasting crop for consumers around the world to enjoy.

You can read more here.

Leadership Opportunities.

Independent Trustee – New Zealand Rural leadership Trust.

Rural Leaders is seeking an Independent Trustee to join its board. This is an exciting opportunity for a food and fibre leader with strategic and governance experience, strong industry networks and a passion for leadership development.

Learn more here. 

Extension Partner - DairyNZ.

This Southland based role drives and supports change by ‘connecting the dots’ for dairy farmers on the ‘whys and how’s’ of farming better, linking with and supporting local farmers willing to partner and lead in exploring their own changes.

Learn more here. 

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