Supporting leadership and governance capability

For the second year AGMARDT has funded To the Core, a unique and award-winning leadership and commercial governance development programme for the primary sector.

Launched in 2018, the programme is designed to provide Farmlands and Silver Fern Farms shareholders with an opportunity to learn about governance in both co-operatives, as well as develop skills needed to operate at board level.

The programme is held in Christchurch during June each year. Over three days the 24 participants learn about a wide range of topics presented by experienced governors from internal and external boards and the Chief Executive Officers from both co-operatives.

Mark McHardy, Farmlands’ Director of External Relations says demand for To the Core is growing year on year with the 2021 event attracting over 80 applications from the shareholders of both co-operatives.

The programme is delivering results to the extent that an extension course has been developed with the support of AGMARDT funding.

“Through the To the Core courses completed to date, there have been a number of elite delegates who have illustrated an ability and desire to govern at a higher business level,” says Mark.

“The new To the Core extension course provides an advanced level of governance training that will prepare our top performers to pursue governance positions in rural / regional business organisations. This is good for our primary sector businesses.”

The extension course elevates already high achieving participants into simulated board governance situations and prepares them for the rigours of business governance. The goal is to offer the extension programme to alumni of To the Core every alternate year.

“The great thing about AGMARDT funding is that it has enabled us to continue developing the To the Core programme, leveraging off learnings from previous years. We couldn’t do that without AGMARDT.” Mark McHardy, Farmlands.

AGMARDT Chair Richard Green was invited to attend the June 2021 programme finale dinner where he says it was clear that participants were all enthusiastic about the leadership journey they were undertaking.

“At AGMARDT we are passionate about supporting development of leadership capability in the food and fibre sector. So, it was very pleasing to feel the huge energy in the room and hear the participants talking about the value they had received from the programme. Learning from experienced leaders and realising their own potential, stimulated them to continue their own development.”

“We are very grateful to AGMARDT for helping fund this opportunity alongside Silver Fern Farms and Farmlands.” To the Core participant June 2021