Thursday, August 18, 2022

Workshops aim to improve farmers’ financial literacy

Financial skills workshops being run around the country by Rabobank aim to provide farmers with practical knowledge to help them better understand financial statements and banking requirements.

Hazel Bourke and Mark Chrystall attended a recent financial skills workshop held by Rabobank in Feilding.

Financial skills workshops being run around the country by Rabobank aim to provide farmers with practical knowledge to help them better understand financial statements and banking requirements.

The workshops have been organised by Rabobank’s client council network.

Woodville farmer Hazel Bourke attended the day-long workshop held in Feilding recently, which was run by Masterton-based specialist farm accountant Lawrence Field.

Field took farmers through topics such as what success looks like, what can be done with more profit or equity and why, what and how farmers can improve their financial skills.

They also looked at financial statements, profit and loss, and balance sheets, before going through key ratios and calculations such as cash, profit and equity.

During the final part of the day Field explained what lenders look for and how borrowers are graded on personal capability, viability and security scales, while also sharing tips on how farmers can make their relationship with their bankers as beneficial as possible.

Bouke says she found the day extremely worthwhile and would recommend it to others.

She says the information provided was easily accessible and there were plenty of opportunities throughout the day to ask questions.

“There were some really good reminders and I learnt quite a bit about stock reconciliation, which was really useful.

“It was good to meet people who were in the same position as me, like-minded people who want to understand their financial background and want to grow their business.”

Lower North Island client council chair and Taihape farmer Mark Chrystall also took part in the Feilding workshop.

He says the purpose of the workshops is to lift financial literacy on-farm and farmers do not have to be a Rabobank client to take part.

“There’s a real need to get into the office and understand what the accounts look like, understand a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement.”

He says improved financial literacy among farmers will not only help strengthen individual business but also the industry overall.

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