Two New Zealand entities were recognised with awards at this week’s Rabobank Farm2Fork conference in Sydney.
Central Otago-based company director Kate Scott was named the 2023 Rabobank Emerging Leader – a trans-Tasman business award that recognises outstanding up-and-coming agri-industry talent.
Growing Future Farmers, established in 2017 by Gisborne farmer Tam Jex-Blake to train work-ready graduates for the sheep, beef and deer sectors, was named winner of the NZ Community Leadership Award.
The 2023 Rabobank Leadership Award went to the president of Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation, Fiona Simson, for her role advocating on behalf of the Australian agribusiness sector.
Scott is the executive director of Landpro, which she jointly established in 2007 to provide aerial surveying, resource management, environmental and technical services for farmers and growers across NZ.
It now employs more than 75 staff nationwide.
In addition to her role with Landpro, she is also chair of the NZ Rural Leadership Trust, which runs the Nuffield Farming Scholarships, the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, and the Value Chain Innovation Programme. She was a Nuffield Farming scholar in 2017, when she travelled to the Netherlands for a global farming conference followed by an eight-week tour of six other countries looking at different farming methods.
“With her Nuffield Scholarship, Kate explored ways to enable better environmental outcomes in agriculture, including ways for NZ to reduce its agri-enviro footprint and to benchmark its environmental performance against other major agricultural nations,” Rabobank NZ manager Todd Charteris said.
The new Community Leadership award was developed to highlight community initiatives that align with the themes of work done by the bank’s Client Councils to address industry and community challenges in farming and agribusiness.
Growing Future Farmers is an entry-level vocational pathway created to provide new opportunities for young people interested in farming to learn on the job.
“It delivers structured on- and off-farm training over two years and has done a fantastic job of developing young people for careers on sheep and beef farming operations,” Charteris said.
He said it was pleasing to see a sizeable chunk of participants coming from non-farming backgrounds.
This year 40 students from around NZ are expected to graduate, making it the largest training organisation of its type in the country.
The goal is to have 60 trained young farmers – and their dogs – graduate each year.
The Australian winner was Boys in the Bush, a social initiative helping troubled youth.
The Community Leadership Award winners each receive $AUS25,000 (about $26,700) to further enhance their programmes.