Lachlan at home in the North
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Lachlan at home in the North

Category Our People

Lachlan Campbell 

Lachlan Campbell always envisaged life would take him back to the family farm, then a banking stop gap after University intercepted his plans, and unveiled a new world full of agricultural opportunity.

Today Lachlan is a Rabobank Major Agribusiness Clients (MAC) Manager based in Townsville, working with some of northern Australia’s most progressive, and exciting farmers.

And while he may live at the opposite end of the state from his family’s intergenerational farming operation, based between Goondiwindi and Warwick, it hasn’t stopped him realising his childhood ambition of taking on the farm.

Lachlan and his Toowoomba-based twin brother now own the property, managing it together remotely.

“I love going back to the farm, and try to get there two or three times a year, and while my goal was always to go farming full-time, I couldn’t anticipate how much I’d enjoy the banking sector,” Lachlan explains.

His initial return home to the family business after completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Rural Management at the University of Queensland’s Gatton campus coincided with a number of light seasons, prompting him into the banking workforce.

“It was an opportunity to learn new skills and perhaps put some money away, but I underestimated how much I’d enjoy agri banking.”

Fifteen years later and Lachlan has honed his expertise across Queensland, from working with southern Queensland mixed farmers out of Warwick, Charleville and Dalby, to corporate agriculture giants in Brisbane.

“It’s a real privilege working with family operations at a strategic level, supporting really exciting rural business growth and outcomes – and most days I feel like a farmer, without having to fix fences!”

He said the opportunity to help support families who are building successful business on top of an ecological system, whilst being sensitive to that system, was unique.

“Agri banking offers so much more than just building a career writing home loans – it’s an ever-evolving space balancing business with the environment and navigating seasonal and market challenges – the dynamics make for genuinely fulfilling work.”

For the past eleven years Lachlan has been based in Townsville, in a region he now calls home.

Having joined Rabobank in 2018, Lachlan now works specifically with MAC clients, that is, clients with a credit requirement over $20 million.

As such, Lachlan supports some of Australia’s largest operators, from graziers in the gulf down to Cloncurry and Clermont, to sugar cane producers on the Cairns coast, and with every second week spent on the road, he said catching up with them on-farm was a highlight.

“The scale of operations in the north is incredible, and it’s always a privilege to visit these vast properties and see them in action, being managed so efficiently despite their size and remoteness – it’s extremely rewarding to be part of.”

In a bank focussed solely on farmers, in a role dedicated to supporting high value transactions, Lachlan said there was nothing more exciting than helping a client achieve their goals.

“High value transactions are complex with a lot of extra, and very specific requirements.”

“The beauty of Rabobank’s MAC division is that we know exactly what needs to be in place when a client wants to buy a property – we know the information that needs collecting for the in-depth paperwork required, we’re used to having the conversations with credit during the approval process, and we understand the legal structure post settlement on large transactions.”

“It’s all that we do, which ensures speed to market, speed to settlement, and a really positive client experience.”

With rural land prices in the north having boomed in recent years, many farmers have found themselves automatically catapulted into the MAC space, sometimes after just one transaction.

And despite rising land values, he said operations with scale were not slowing down their expansion intentions.

“My clients live and breathe agriculture – they’re progressive, proactive with succession and enjoy being challenged on their thinking, as their manager, it’s a very exciting proposition.”

Lachlan said his clients were also very much engaged in Rabobank’s Rabo Research insights, and the bank’s commitment to the food and agri sector, which he said aligned with their own passion.

Working across the north, Lachlan now has a newfound appreciation for the hours of travel required of locals – likewise, he said his clients value on-farm visits.

The country, he said, was like an onion, with a depth of layers that continue to fascinate.

“When you see the landscapes out here for the first time, it all appears to be pretty consistent, but then you learn more about the carrying capacity and the soil types that feed into each individual business, and it really is remarkable.”

“Not to mention the beautiful geography.”

With his wife running a local café, Lachlan is also well engaged in the local Townsville community, and until recently was a regular at weekend triathlons, even completing the Townsville half marathon.

And he’s got a pretty good excuse for his hiatus, a nine-month old daughter.

“I thought I’d only be in Townsville a couple of years as a career stepping stone, and here I am eleven years later with a little family and a really meaningful career, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”