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Rural Leaders Programme Forging Ahead

Rural Leaders Programme Forging Ahead

A programme to develop rural leaders is showing real results, a year after being relaunched by the government, Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor says.

The Rural Leaders Development Programme is designed to help rural New Zealanders become leaders by developing skills such as communications, team building and strategic planning.

"The programme came up trumps for several graduates at the National Bank Young Farmer of the Year event in Greymouth last week," Mr O'Connor said.

"Competition winner John McCaw of Mid Canterbury, runner-up Ben Allomes from North Wairarapa (recently elected New Zealand Young Farmers president), third-placed Elliot Scott of Christchurch and Southland's Paul Turner in fifth, have all completed the course.

"The results are a ringing endorsement of the programme, which aims to encourage motivated people of all ages to step in and assume leadership roles in farming and rural communities.

"It is a small but important part of the government's ongoing support for rural New Zealand.

The NZQA-accredited programme, funded by the Ministry of Education and provided by the Taratahi Agriculture Training Centre, grew out of the New Zealand Young Farmers' leadership development programme, which was initiated three years ago.

"I hope the Grand Final results encourage more people to join the programme. It shows that motivated people can achieve great things when new skills are added to passion and commitment. I applaud Young Farmers for their initiative."

It is now open to an expanded rural audience and people of all ages, with those completing the programme gaining a Certificate of Rural Leadership. The programme is run under the guidance of an advisory board comprising members from NZ Young Farmers, Taratahi and the Agriculture Training Organisation (AgITO).


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