Recognised as an exceptional young farmer and future leader of Tasmania’s agri sector, Cressy farmer Will Green has taken out the 2016 Rabobank Simplot Young Grower award.
Chosen from a select group of nominees across the vegetable sector, Mr Green was presented the award in front of more than 200 fellow growers and industry stakeholders at the annual Simplot awards dinner in Ulverstone.
Receiving the award, Mr Green said he was excited to take out the industry accolade, as there were not many awards that celebrated the role of young people in agriculture.
“As farmers we work hard, and it is rewarding to be recognised for that work by this award which helps lift the profile of young people in the sector,” Mr Green said.
Jointly-awarded by Rabobank and Simplot, Rabobank acting state manager for Tasmania Stuart Whatling said Mr Green was “very well-regarded in the industry” with his innovative and forward-thinking approach to farming, which had seen the family business grow significantly over recent years.
Mr Whatling said Mr Green and his family – twin brother Tom and parents Michael and Prudence – had transformed their farming business into one of the largest mixed cropping and grazing enterprises in the North Midlands region.
“The foresight Will has shown at just 38 years of age is extraordinary,” Mr Whatling said, “and we look forward to seeing him further his leadership and management skills by attending Rabobank’s Executive Development Program.”
As part of his award, Mr Green has received a scholarship from Rabobank and Simplot to attend the flagship program for Australia and New Zealand’s leading farmers.
Coined the ‘mini MBA’ for farmers, the Rabobank program covers all aspects of business management including strategic goal setting, negotiation, risk management, leadership and technology.
With the course designed for key decision-makers in the business, Mr Green said the opportunity to attend the program had come at the optimal time with the increased size, and complexity of the business.
“I am looking forward to mixing with the other farmers on the course, as they will all have different ideas and ways of looking at things,” Mr Green said. “I have found from being involved in a benchmarking group that so much of the learning comes from your peers, and the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded farmers from not only Australia, but also New Zealand, will be invaluable.”
Mr Green is also hoping to develop a framework to refine his decision-making process, and some tips and techniques around managing people.
“Managing staff, and how to get the best out of people is critical to the success of our business, as we now employ four full-time staff members as well as a number of contractors in busy times,” he said, “so I hope the course will give me some insights into this area of our business, as it is something I have had to learn as I have gone along.”
Mr Green his brother are the third generation of the family to run ‘The Glen’, the hub of the family farming business which spans 4,500 hectares in the Cressy region.
“When I returned home to the business in 1999, we realised we needed to work together as a family to grow the business, as it wasn’t going to be big enough to support three families,” he said.
“And 20 years on, we have more than doubled the size of our mixed-farming operation.”
Mr Green said the rotational cropping arm of the business comprised peas, grass seed and poppies, with the family also leasing out land for the production of potatoes, broccoli and carrot seed.
“We also run around 10,000 merino sheep and 1,000 angus cattle, which makes up the grazing component of our business,” he said.
Going forward, Mr Green said the family would continue to explore ways to lift the productivity of their business and to benchmark their operation against other businesses in the area.
“We have gone through a period of strong growth in recent years, so we will be looking to consolidate and grow the business through efficiency gains,” he said.
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group 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 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group 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.
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Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
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