Applications are being sought for this year’s Rabobank’s Business Management Programmes.
New Zealand general manager for country banking Bruce Weir said farmers on both sides of the Tasman have been dealing with lower commodity prices and variable climatic conditions over the past 12 months, and it is crucial they remain focused on the longer-term viability of their businesses.
“It’s so important for farmers to take a step back from the day-to-day operational-side of their businesses and to spend time developing strategies to ensure that their operations remain resilient into the future,” he said.
“The programmes provide participants with an opportunity to do just this, as well as the chance to spend time with like-minded producers from across the two countries and a range of different sectors.”
The Executive Development Programme starts in August, covering topics including strategic planning, financial management, communication, governance, negotiation, global trends, innovation and risk.
The programme is comprised of two week-long modules run over consecutive years. During the last few days of the second module, participants’ partners are invited to join the programme to work together on topics such as succession planning, resilience and human resource management.
With the last two Farm Managers Programmes having taken place in Christchurch, this year’s Farm Managers Programme will be run in Victoria’s Yarra Valley in mid June.
The Farm Managers Programme is a week-long course developed for primary producers in the earlier stages of their career wanting to build management skills and increase their confidence and ability to influence business decisions.
“It helps up-and-coming producers develop a more strategic mindset around business planning, people management and financial analysis,” Weir said.
He said one of the long-lasting benefits of attending the Business Management programmes is the ongoing networking opportunities.
“The regular Business Management Programme alumni events provide attendees with an ongoing opportunity to connect with other programme graduates and, in many cases, relationships formed during the programme endure far beyond the completion of the course,” he said.
Positions on the programmes are set to be highly contested, with farmers selected to attend from a wide range of commodities and geographical regions across New Zealand and Australia.
Applications are open until March 22 for the Executive Development Programme and Farm Managers Programme as follows:
• The Farm Managers Programme, June 16 to 21, 2024, in Yarra Valley, Victoria.
• The Executive Development Programme, August 25 to 30, 2024 followed by the second module from July 27 to August 1, 2025, in Sydney, New South Wales.