AGMARDT Leadership Scholarships

These stories were showcased in our 2019/20 Annual Report

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith grew up on an intergenerational hill country sheep and beef farm in Taihape.

Growing up on-farm gave Jessica Smith practical skills and tools that have enabled her to navigate a diverse career within Māori development that spans many of sectors both domestically and abroad. This includes a strong focus on Māori enterprise development and growing Māori food and fibre opportunities from the ground up.

An AGMARDT Leadership Development Scholarship enabled Jessica to participate in Harvard Business School’s prestigious Agribusiness Programme.

She says this was an amazing opportunity to learn, connect and engage with an elite group of global executives to discuss the changing global landscape and shape the future of the agribusiness industry.

“With AGMARDT’s support I have gained global exposure that will benefit all facets of my learning journey.”

Tennielle Ellingham

Tennielle is the General Manager of Clinical Services at Anexa Vet Services, and also sits on the Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians Executive Committee for the New Zealand Veterinary Association. An AGMARDT Leadership Development Scholarship enabled her to attend the EY Darden Executive Programme, hosted in New Zealand, through the University of Virginia. The focus on strategy, leadership, global economics and finance, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Tennielle must put these skills into practice helping navigate the business through the Level 4 lockdown and beyond.  She aims to continue developing these skills and support further industry wide collaborations and innovation to maximise the many opportunities in the dairy industry.

“I am extremely grateful for the support AGMARDT gave me to attend this fantastic Executive Leadership Programme. It has really cemented many years of learning, bringing it all together to give me confidence in what I can offer as a leader and allowed me to really grow my skills in innovation, strategy, entrepreneurship and macro economics. I look forward to continuing to put these skills into practice in this wonderful industry.”

Paul Olsen

Paul farms in Manawatu on a mixed operation consisting of dairy, beef and cropping.

He holds a number of primary sector leadership positions, including a board member for Potatoes NZ and Telford Farm board, Vice President for Federated Famers for Manawatu/ Rangitikei and is on the Beef and Lamb Farmer Council for the Western North Island.

The AGMARDT scholarship has enabled Paul to embark on an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA). Through this study he hopes to develop a diverse and open mindset, learn from leaders across a wide range of sectors, develop his governance skillset and to ultimately give back and strengthen the wider primary sector.

“I really appreciate the opportunity AGMARDT has given me to further upskill, develop, grow and ultimately meet my long-term objective of giving back through primary sector governance.’’

Renee Hogg

An AGMARDT Leadership scholarship enabled Renee Hogg to undertake an Institute of Directors (IOD) Company Directors course, as a steppingstone to securing a directorship in a NZ based agribusiness.

On completion of the IOD course and following the milestones set out in her leadership development plan, she was appointed to the NZ Meat Board as one of the two Ministerial appointees, in May 2020.

Renee is now working towards IOD Chartered Member status and is hoping to secure a space in the IOD mentoring for diversity program next year and continue to build governance experience and capability.

“The Leadership Scholarship programme has been excellent. It put structure around my goals and aspirations and enabled me to break them down and achieve them. I have really valued this learning and discipline and greatly appreciate the opportunities these scholarships provide.”

Andrew Beijeman

Andrew lives with his family in Ohakune where he is CEO of Atihau Whanganui Incorporation, a large-scale Maori-owned farming entity.  Andrew always wants to be involved within the New Zealand Primary sector and saw the AGMARDT scholarship as a means for him to contribute more by tackling some weak spots, and preparing him to achieve some future aspirations, in both strategic thinking and governance roles. While COVID-19 has slowed down his ability to complete the desired training programmes outlined in his personal development plan.  Andrew has taken this opportunity to practice some public speaking, an area that the scholarship programme helped provide funding for.

“I really appreciate the AGMARDT Scholarship and wouldn’t have been able to do some of the training I’m doing without it. I’m already seeing some benefits and can’t wait to get back into the second tranche of learning.”