More than 1300 of Australia and New Zealand’s most progressive farmers have graduated from Rabobank’s Business Management Programs over the past 25 years.
And this year, more will have the opportunity to join their ranks, with applications now open for the 2024 intake of the programs.
Tailored for farmers at different stages in their career, the two programs on offer – the Executive Development Program for farm business owners or senior managers and the Farm Managers Program for up-and-coming farmers – are designed to equip participants with the latest in business management thinking.
Announcing the opening of applications for 2024, Rabobank regional manager Australia and New Zealand Mark Wiessing said both programs provide an excellent opportunity for leading producers to gather and learn from each other.
“There has never really been a better time to join one of the programs with like-minded producers from across the two countries and a range of different sectors,” he said.
Wiessing said many farmers through the course of 2023 have been dealing with the impacts of volatile commodity markets and variable climatic conditions, and it was even more important to remain focused on the “big picture” and have plans in place for the longer-term viability of the business.
“It is vital farmers have the opportunity to step back for a few days from the day-to-day operational side of the business to refresh the mindset and develop strategies to ensure the business remains resilient going into the future,” he said.
The Executive Development Program (EDP), which will be held in Sydney, is delivered over two fast-paced week-long modules run over consecutive years covering topics including strategic planning, financial management, communication, governance, negotiation, global trends, sustainability/carbon emissions, innovation and risk.
The first module will be held in August this year.
Wiessing said the EDP participants’ partners are also invited to join the program for the last two days of the second module, allowing them to work together on topics such as succession planning, resilience and human resource management.
EDP alumni and winner of the 2023 Dr John Morris’ Business Development Prize – a prestigious trans-Tasman business prize awarded annually as part of the program – Sam Conway believes networking opportunities are one of the strengths of the program.