Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kellogg Rural Leaders

This year I have the privilege of being part of the

I've long wanted to do the Kellogg programme.
When I worked at Lincoln Uni
organising conferences,
I worked on the periphery of the Kellogg programme.

I'd often sneak into the back of the Council Room
where the Kellogg programme is held,
and sit in on one or two of the presentations
from some really brilliant speakers and authorities in their fields.

The course is a year long course in three parts.
The first part, of which I am part of now,
is a ten day residential session
with 50 different presentations.
Yes 50 in ten days.
That's a lot of presentations in a not very long time.

The presentations subjects range from
critical thinking to an overview on the Deer Industry,
presentation skills to water management on the Canterbury Plains,
social media to an overview of the Pip Fruit Industry,
so a mix of practical and personal skills
and overviews of the different sectors in New Zealand's Hort/Ag industry.

The second part of Kellogg is our individual resaerch project.
The third and final part is residential again but
this time we do a few days at Lincoln Uni presenting our research
then travel to Wellington to wrap up
with some more leadership inspiration.

This year's participants come from nearly all regions of New Zealand
but for the first time from Australia too.
There's a range of ages,
professions and industries represented.

There are 20 of us and nine are Dairy farmers
then a couple of pipfruit/ag consultants,
a seed scientist, a sheep and beef farmer,
a banker, orchardist, a vet, a research scientist,
a policy writer and me,
the non-ag person.
I just tell them in the business of farming people.

The group is diverse but
united on a desire to build a better
future for our industry and for our country.
Kellogg has a proven track record for it's alum
to go on to lead not just the industry but
in one case the country.
There are a lot of people who have radically realised
a very different future for themselves,
envisioned a huge future for their sector of the industry and
then taken both to some amazing horizons
as a result of their particpation in Kellogg.

It is renouned for changing lives.

There are some 600 alumni out and about in the world.
Almost without exception they are making a positive difference
in their communities of interest.

To make the ten days a little pressured,
along side the presentations,
 we have to make a few ourselves too.

My wee group of four,
Jamo, Wayne, Phil and myself
are researching and presenting on
Canterbury as a Dairy Monoculture.

This is something none of us know anything about
but at least the other three are Dairy farmers,
I'll make the slides,
research the people impact,
and the meaning of monoculture.
Then we present on Thursday,
which is beginning to feel like high noon.

I think what makes Kellogg an amazing experience at this stage,
is the people.
The members of my cohort are all really interesting,
successful people.
Who think for themselves, who are driven and focused,
it's kind of like being on an elite team
where everyone is learning their strengths and
we are learning each others,
we are learning to make the best of what we can do,
and invite others with skills we don't have to share with us.

I'm loving it.

Farm on.

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