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Leading Australian & New Zealand farmers tour Tasmania – knowledge sharing the focus

Nearly 80 of Australia and New Zealand’s most progressive farmers gathered in Tasmania recently to share best-practice in farm business management.

Hosted by Rabobank, the group was made up of graduates of Rabobank’s business management programs (the Executive Development Program and the Farm Managers Program), with the two-day tour providing an opportunity for alumni to re-connect and meet participants from other program intakes – some who attended the inaugural Executive Development Program in 1999.

Showcasing Tasmanian agriculture, the alumni group were given a rare insight into progressive farm businesses in the north and east of the state – with vertical-integration across the supply chain, access to water and innovation, three of the key themes to emerge from the farm visits.

The tour – which focussed on growth, progression and succession – included visits to six progressive enterprises: Landfall, a fifth generation beef and sheep enterprise on the Tamar River, Ashgrove Farms and Cheese Factory, “Nosswick”, a prime lamb and cropping business, Seedhouse Tasmania and Annandale, Westland Nurseries and a gourmet potato enterprise at Boomer Bay. 

The tour also included dinner at Josef Chromy Wines, listed as one of the Top 10 Cellar Doors in Australia and concluded with a function at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart.

Rob and Kathy Henry from “Woodrising”, Cressy were two local farmers to join the tour. Graduates of the 2005 Rabobank Executive Development Program, they also presented on the program for a number of years, with their business analysed as a farm case study.  

Rob says 10 years on from attending the program, they both remain passionate about the lessons learned on the course.

“It is incredible how little snippets from the course come back to us, particularly when we face a different set of circumstances, and the learnings have helped enormously in the running of our business,” Rob said. 

With the program whetting their appetite for further learning, the Henrys have attended a number of Rabobank business program alumni events in Australia and New Zealand, and said the opportunity to mix with other like-minded farmers gave them “an injection of enthusiasm”, as they returned home with “different ideas.”

“We find that we get as much out of spending time with the alumni, as we do from the program content and farm visits,” Rob said. “But this year the tour was very special, being held here in Tasmania, as we were able to see a large diversity of operations – and I was just blown away by the finesse of management.”

Rabobank offers two farm business management programs focused on developing the latest practices in business management, leadership, strategy, finance, human resources, value chain management and marketing, applied directly to farm businesses.

The Rabobank Executive Development Program, developed for business owners and senior managers, will be held in August this year, with applications for the 2016 program open until the end of May.

The Rabobank Farm Managers Program, is open to progressive young farmers looking to hone in on their management capabilities. Applications for this year’s program – which will be held in June – close in mid-April.  

Producers interested in an application form or any further information on the Rabobank Business Management Programs should visit www.rabobank.com.au/bmp or contact Rabobank Business Programs manager Nerida Sweetapple on 02 6363 5910 or email nerida.sweetapple@rabobank.com.

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 115 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.8 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is one of Australasia’s leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525
Email: denise.shaw@rabobank.com


Skye Ward
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
Phone: 02 4855 1111 or 0418 216 103
Email: skye.ward@rabobank.com