North-West agricultural region showcased to leading farmers
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North-West agricultural region showcased to Australian & New Zealand leading farmers

North-western New South Wales recently played host to a group of nearly 50 leading farmers from across Australia and New Zealand, who gathered to visit some of the region’s most progressive farming businesses.

Taking in the vast farming plains around Moree and the productive black soils of the Liverpool Plains, the two-day tour showcased the efficiency gains achieved on some of the region’s dryland and irrigated grain and cotton operations.

Hosted by Rabobank, the group was made up of graduates of the specialist agricultural bank’s business management programs (the Executive Development Program and the Farm Managers Program), with the 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.

With the tour focused on creating efficiencies in the business – capital, people and infrastructure – the visiting farmers were given a rare insight into some of the region’s most innovative farming operations – all of which have challenged the status quo to grow their business.

Taking in properties near Pallamallawa, Edgeroi, Merah North, Narrabri and Spring Ridge, the tour also highlighted efficient value chains and logistics management, benchmarking, risk and price management, human resource management practices, irrigation infrastructure and succession planning.

Andrew Pursehouse from “Breeza Station”, Breeza was one local farmer to join the tour. Graduating from the Rabobank Executive Development Program in 2005, the tour marked the second alumni event he had attended – after visiting Tasmania last March.

Andrew said, more than a decade on from attending the Executive Development Program, he continued to tap into the network he developed on the course, and which he has expanded further through alumni initiatives.

“My original program included 15 New Zealanders and 15 Australians and while there was no one from my course on this year’s alumni tour, it was still an invaluable networking opportunity bringing together a group of farmers that challenge the way they do things and all share common ground.”

Andrew, who collected information and ideas from the tour to implement in his own business, said he would “encourage any forward-thinking farmers who have a thirst for knowledge to do the Executive Development Program”.

“I still keep the group photograph of those I did the course with on the bookshelf in my office,” he said, “and I keep in touch with a fair few of the course participants, with a trip to New Zealand on my ‘to-do-list’ to visit those that are over there.”

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 2017 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 can visit

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.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525 

Skye Ward
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia
Phone: 02 4855 1111 or 0418 216 103