Federated Farmers' is expanding its highly successful Leadership Development Programme for members and others in primary industries.
Many agricultural sector leaders have been through the Federation's stage one and two Leadership Courses. These give individuals vital skills to work in teams and understand the technical, emotive, cultural and political aspects of issues.
The level one Getting Your Feet Wet and level two Shining Under the Spotlight courses give participants the techniques and methods to analyse and bring together a compelling case to present their desired outcomes.
Generally, participants are more at home working with animals and machinery, but the courses give them the confidence to speak publicly and represent themselves and their industries effectively at the highest levels of governance.
Many participants may initially think, "Oh crap, I have to stand up in front of all these people and present a clear, concise case", but that makes it more rewarding to see them grow in confidence.
Federated Farmers, with the help of Dairy NZ, the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT) and Beef + Lamb NZ, is designing an additional leadership programme to develop the Federation's capability to positively advocate for workable and sustainable outcomes for the farming sector.
The initial target audience is Federated Farmers' provincial presidents and executives who are engaged with the many territorial local government decision making processes.
The course aims to increase their effectiveness in the collaborative decision-making processes - particularly on the Resource Management Act, Emissions Trading Scheme and the Land and Water Forum.
This programme focuses on Building Collaborative Advocacy Skills, specifically:
Negotiating agreement and managing conflict
Integrating technical and scientific information
Applying analytic skills and strategic thinking.
All courses are tailored to target the specific development needs of farming leaders. They recognise the predominantly pragmatic culture, the volunteer nature of the roles, tensions on time and energy faced and the passion and emotional commitment these issues raise for farmers as decisions can have a significant impact.