From Auckland to Africa: A journey advancing global farming + empowering the next generation

From Auckland to Africa: A journey advancing global farming + empowering the next generation

Rural ambassador and Ag leader Courtney Davies has just been on a 10-day conference in Tanzania at the Africa Food System Forum as part of her role with the Next Generation Ag Impact Network.

During her stint at the Africa Food System Forum in Tanzania, Davies took up the mantle of leadership for the Next Generation Ag Impact Network

"It's a global network of networks all about being forward and [lead] by next-generation agricultural leaders," she says.

"We have a vision to empower young changemakers in agriculture to become leaders of the future." 

Her involvement provided a platform to champion young changemakers, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be involved in agriculture. Davies describes her time in Tanzania as eye-opening, revealing the country's embrace of diverse roles within agriculture. 

"They were so embracing of all these different types because they knew that everyone had a part to play in this industry for it to be successful," she explains. 

Her experiences included visits to a pepper farm, a seaweed business and participating in conversations that expanded her understanding of the global food system. Before Tanzania, Davies mentored Saudi Arabia's brightest youth at the Saudi Research Summer Institute, applying her background in microbiology to help students work on advanced science projects. 

She reflects on this time with enthusiasm, showcasing her versatility and commitment to fostering the next generation of leaders. Back in her home country, New Zealand, Davies continues her passion for dairy farming through Inca Ayrshire cattle stud, a passion project she hopes to evolve into a viable business. Balancing international roles with local farming, she provides a unique perspective on how young people can be involved in agriculture without traditional farm ownership.

Lastly, Davies touches on the challenges of overcoming the 'tall poppy syndrome' and creating inclusive spaces for young people in agriculture. 

"I just have this mindset that if I don't say anything, or if someone doesn't say anything, it's just going to continue the way it's been." 

Her advocacy for accountability and diversity in agricultural leadership points to the need for systemic change to welcome and nurture new talent. 

Listen to the full chat between Courtney Davies and Dominic George above.

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