What does the leadership “culture” look like in agriculture in the 21st century

Long term readers of my blog will know I find what I see as a culture of negativity in agriculture very frustrating and counterproductive to the industry moving forward.

I find the leadership models very paternalistic with research and development corporations taking a well-meaning top down approach which often results in farmers feeling like they are being treated like children in the Victorian ages. We know best, do as you are told and be seen and not heard 

With project-based learning being the norm in schools today this culture in agriculture is very old school.


To me this paternalistic leadership culture has resulted in farmers feeling disenfranchised and powerless and doing a lot of praying that some-one else will fix our problems for us. Nicely summed up in this cartoon

I have spent the last ten years looking at the culture and personally trying new ways of doing things.

For example what if we went from the paternalistic leadership model and followed the eight trends identified by Corporate Rebels  (Click the links for Case studies)

From To
1. Profit Purpose & values
2. Hierarchical pyramid Network of teams
3. Directive leadership Supportive leadership
4. Plan & predict Experiment & adapt
5. Rules & control Freedom & trust
6. Centralized authority Distributed decision making
7. Secrecy Radical transparency
8. Job descriptions Talents & mastery

We are currently trialling these leadership trends with the Youth Voices Leadership team at Picture You in Agriculture  Super kudos to this gusty group of young women.