Nuffield International CEO receives Rabobank leadership award

The chief executive officer of Nuffield International Jim Geltch has taken out the 2018 Rabobank Leadership Award.

Th recognises the role he has played developing upcoming leadership in the Australian and New Zealand food, beverage and agribusiness sectors.

Geltch, who was appointed inaugural CEO of Nuffield International in 2016, was announced as recipient of this year’s award at the annual Rabobank leadership dinner in Sydney on October 11.

Presenting the awards, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group managing director Peter Knoblanche said in his work leading Nuffield, Geltch was making one of the most fundamentally important contributions to leadership in the food and agribusiness sector.

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“Jim is one of the great unsung heroes of the sector, whose enormous contribution to agriculture and the food and agribusiness industries is truly deserving of recognition.

“Not only is he an extremely accomplished leader in his own right, he has had a huge impact on the sector and done great good by fostering and developing leadership in others,” said Knoblanche.

“Through his own leadership of the Nuffield organisation, Jim has played, and continues to play, an invaluable role in the future growth and prosperity of the sector, by facilitating the development and engagement of the talented young people in our agricultural and agribusiness industries,” he said.

It was notable that two recent past Rabobank Emerging Leaders were Nuffield Scholars – leading organics farmer Nathan Free and executive director of Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs Jan Vydra, said Knoblanche.

During Geltch’s time as CEO of Nuffield Australia, from 2005 to 2016, Knoblanche said, he had been instrumental in guiding the program through a significant growth period, with the number of scholarships – awarded in partnership with industry and the public sector – growing from 10 to 25 per year.

After accepting his award, Geltch said one of the most rewarding aspects of his role heading Nuffield was witnessing the growth and development of the young people coming through the scholarship program, and the impact it was making.

“I’ve always said travel is the best educator you can have. One of the great pleasures of managing the Nuffield program has been seeing the growth of, in some respects, naïve young men and women who come through the selection process and come back in two years’ time after undertaking their scholarships – seeing the self-confidence they’ve developed and the global view they’ve built about agriculture,” said Gletch.

“When you get out of bed in the morning, if you’re enjoying the job, when you get up you’ll do some constructive things, but to actually see that on a day-to-day basis is just one of the greatest pleasures I get out of being involved in Nuffield.”

AACo chief operating officer Anna Speer won the 2018 Rabobank Emerging Leader award.