Farm Leadership Program

A very important two day workshop was recently held at Nyroca, for the benefit of young farmers, by way of leadership training, so as to better prepare them, not only for their own farm management, but in a wider role as leaders in their own communities.

Organised and led by Linden Masters and Mark Stanley, both of whom have a long history in agricultural pursuits, the programme has been conducted on two occasions in the Upper Eyre Peninsula, and this latest one was specifically for the Lower Eyre. Its funding was derived from the Lower Eyre Rail Development Fund, and with the completion of the Nyroca workshop, some 35 young farmers aged between 22 and 33 years have participated.

Its aim was to essentially to build confidence in leadership, and to explore one’s own communication style, in an endeavour to better prepare the participants for their future, not only in such areas as decision-making in farming, but also in the wider area of leadership in their own communities, and perhaps making a difference in the various agricultural organisations.

It seemed to me a bit like the old argument of what is the more important: intelligence or wisdom, whereby intelligence is the ability to think and to reason, while wisdom is said to be acquired  through experience. While few farmers have university degrees, mostly their success in life comes from wisdom, drawn partly as a result of their local industry knowledge.

As part of the programme, there were four quite inspirational speakers who addressed the group, and gave them the benefit of their own experience, and endeavoured to inculcate them with the building blocks of success.  Jack Bourke, a farmer from Wanilla, who is a former president of the Marble Range Football Club, and NRMB member, spoke about such things as values and the importance of working in a team. Steve Whillas spoke about leadership in the local community and its benefit to personal and community development. Brian Foster, with a wealth of experience at local government level and NRMB management, spoke about the young farmers’ potential to be utilised more broadly than in their local area. Ken Webber, an agent for Nu-Farm, spoke on decision making in farming, relationships and how to get the best out of communication, and why.

Both Linden Masters and Mark Stanley were so impressed with the calibre of the group and were most optimistic about their potential in community and agribusiness activities

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