Helping Young Farmers Improve Their Business

AUSTRALIA - Finding direction to improve their businesses is crucial for young farmers taking on the management of their family operations – a key motivation to apply for the 2011 Rabobank Farm Managers Programme.
calendar icon 21 March 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

James (David) Dysart from ‘Apple Tree Bridge Farm’ in New Zealand’s North Island said he undertook the Farm Managers Program in 2010 because he wanted direction to move his career and farm business forward.

“The Farm Managers Programme has given me a roadmap to improve – I am already more efficient with my time management and working on my communication with staff,” Mr Dysart said.

Mr Dysart has been managing a 180ha family-owned dairy farm north west of Taupo since 2003 where he runs 500 cross bred dairy cows. Completing the Farms Managers Programme, he said the course gave him inspiration to develop his farming operation.

The programme, which is now in its sixth year, is modelled on Rabobank’s highly-respected Executive Development Programme and aims to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of tomorrow’s farm managers, covering topics around leadership, business planning, financial and economic management, and succession planning. It is open to progressive young farmers from across New Zealand and Australia from a range of agricultural commodities and not limited to Rabobank clients.

“During the programme you get exposed to relevant up-to-date material that’s important as far as a modern farming business management goes. The presenters were on top of industry trends and business principles outside of farming which helped paint the bigger picture for business growth,” Mr Dysart said.

“It is a very motivating programme to undertake – I’d recommend it to anyone looking to evolve their business to ensure it is resilient and sustainable.

“It was also great meeting and talking with others at a similar level in farming, particularly those from Australia, and I am thankful for that opportunity.”

Announcing the opening of applications for the 2011 Farm Managers Programme, Rabobank group executive country banking Neil Dobbin said educating young farmers with the ability to successfully grow and build on their business management skills was the main focus of the programme.

“Agriculture is a changeable industry that has many influencing factors – such as extreme weather, changing markets, and technology improvements – translating these variables into profit and making the right business decisions, specialist knowledge and education is vital,” he said.

“Young farmers beginning to take the management of their family businesses now will be the future decision-makers of our industry and we need to invest in them, support them, and equip them with the tools to make informed choices going forward.”

Mr Dobbin said issues such as global trends, higher demand for food in Asia, price volatility, gaining access into new markets, and even taking advantage of marketing techniques to strategically position farm businesses are dealt with in the programme.

Applications for the 2011 Rabobank Farm Managers Programme are open until 29 April with the number of participants limited to 36. The programme will be held in Australia at Clear Mountain Lodge in Brisbane 20-24 June.

Producers interested in an application form or any further information on the Rabobank Farm Managers Programme should contact Rabobank business programmes manager Nerida Sweetapple on +61 2 8115 4139 or email [email protected]

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