Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme

​​Investing in the future leaders of the kiwifruit industry is an important focus for Zespri, so we are sponsoring one person from our industry to attend one of next year’s Kellogg Rural Leadership Programmes. This is a highly respected rural and primary sector programme, providing knowledge and skills for:

  • Personal development and growth
  • Developing the 'contextual intelligence' and thinking required for leadership
  • Gaining greater insights into the primary industry sector
  • Making strategic connections and networks.

Many graduates of the programme have gone on to achieve successful careers in leadership roles in New Zealand agriculture.


The successful recipient of the scholarship will receive the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme worth $4,900 plus accommodation. You can choose which course you attend:

  • Course Date: 18 June - 28 November 2019

Who should apply?

Aspiring future leaders of the kiwifruit industry.


To be eligible for the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme you must have experience in the kiwifruit industry. You should also be able to demonstrate your leadership skills either in the industry or in the community. You will be asked to provide two referees.

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

More information

For more information about the programme visit the Kellogg website here. Alternatively email Zespri at


2018 recipient - Jessica Smith​

Jessica grew up on a hill country sheep and beef farm in Taihape.  Her love for the land and passion for Maori development has led her down a fulfilling pathway of helping to build whanau (family) enterprise on whanau land.  

Over the past 5 years Jessica has been working with Maori land owners across the Bay of Plenty to develop kiwifruit orchards on their whenua (land). Jessica is guided by the whakatauki (proverb) “Whakakoi te tipi o te rakau hei huanga mou, Hei huanga mo te hapu” Sharpen your skills so that you are of benefit to your people. So when she received the Zespri’s Kellogg Rural Leadership scholarship she saw this as an opportunity to grow and enhance her leadership skills. 

“Kelloggs has been around for nearly 40 years, it has a proud history of developing future leaders, to be part of that is an absolute privilege.  The prestigious programme has enabled me to network and connect with a passionate likeminded individuals across the primary sector and New Zealand.  It has also given me clarity of purpose, confidence and direction to be the change agent for effecting positive change in regional New Zealand”. 

This programme was a game changer and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone!

2016 recipient - Matt Nelson


Matt heard about the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme from a friend, “A friend of mine completed the Kellogg course and said I’d be silly not to apply for it, so I decided to give it my best shot,” says Matt.

Matt says his one of his career goals is to help grow the future of Baygold. He will help the younger members of the Baygold team complete the studies that they are doing through the PITO and he would love to become a Senior Orchard Manager at Baygold within the next 3 years. He also says that after winning the Bay of Plenty regional award last year, he would love to be the first Horticulture business to win the national Ballance Farm Environment Awards.