Gaining the skills to step into a managerial role
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Gaining the skills to step into a managerial role – Ruth Corrigan

Category Business Management Programs

Ruth Corrigan BMP alumni

Stepping out of the paddock and into the nursery can be a daunting milestone for many new mothers, but thanks to Rabobank’s Farm Manager Program (FMP), Ruth Corrigan was prepared with the skills and confidence to ‘hand over the reins’ – shifting into a managerial role and allowing her to continue contributing to the business whilst raising her family. 

After moving home to her family’s NSW southern slopes operation ‘Rennylea Angus’ in 2014, this capable 32-year-old enjoyed a hands-on role successfully managing the 3,500 Angus cow herd, genetics, reproductive management – including large scale embryo transfer – artificial insemination programs and nutrition.

However recognising the need to step into a greater business management role, Ruth embarked on Rabobank’s FMP, graduating in 2018.

And not a moment too soon it seems.

Since graduating, Ruth has married her fiancé John and had their first child, one year-old Iona, and has consequentially had to hand much of her physical workload onto an assistant farm manager.

And while the transition out of the paddock and into motherhood can be a challenging step, and Ruth credits the FMP for providing her with the skills to help ease the segue.

“When you’re out in the paddock working independently you’re only responsible for yourself and the cattle, so there’s little opportunity to build relationship management skills,” she said. “The human resource component of the FMP was extremely valuable and gave me the skills necessary to work with an assistant manager - essentially ensuring I can continue to make a meaningful contribution to the operation whilst juggling motherhood.”

Despite a degree in livestock science and post graduate diploma in agriculture and climate change, Ruth said the FMP provided her with crucial practical and people management skills that aren’t touched on in many technical-based courses.

Ruth Corrigan BMP alumni

“You don’t know what you don’t know, that’s for sure, and while I was attracted to the program because it covered such a broad range of topics – from financial skills, leadership and strategic business planning – I found the HR component particularly valuable, and so important for good business.”

With Ruth, her brother and parent’s all involved in the business, plus three permanent staff, she said that thanks to the course maintaining a positive culture within the business was now a priority.

“We had a staff changeover over the past 18 months and the process was so streamlined  – the program covered everything from advertising, to interviewing through to the induction, and having this knowledge proved extremely helpful.”

Communication with staff has also improved, Ruth said, with the family now scheduling regular team meetings and open to honest feedback on its management techniques and how to ensure staff remain empowered.

And with the purchase of an additional property also taking place in the past 12 months, Ruth admits it was a busy year – but eased thanks to her newfound managerial confidence.

“Knowing that I now have the tools to efficiently and effectively work with and manage people has certainly helped underpin our operation’s growth – good staff are the foundation of our business and while I may not be able to be as hands-on as I was, I can now confidently contribute in different ways.”

To find out more about the Rabobank Business Management Programs click here

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