Scholarships for young farmers in the Coal River Valley
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Scholarships announced for young farmers in the Coal River Valley

Progressive young farmers from the Coal River region, and members of the Coal River Products Association (CRPA), have the opportunity to apply for scholarships to attend one of the country’s leading farm business management programs.

With a fully-funded place to be offered on both the 2018 and 2019 Rabobank Farm Managers Program, agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank announced its new sponsorship at the recent 50-year anniversary celebrations of the CRPA – a farming group in the Coal River Valley.

Announcing the scholarships valued at $5,000, Rabobank regional manager of major agri clients in Tasmania Stuart Whatling said Rabobank were excited to be involved in this initiative to help develop the leadership and management capabilities of young farmers in the region.

“By equipping the younger generation with enhanced operational and strategic management skills, the program will not only have positive ramifications on the future development and growth of individual farming businesses, but the sector more generally, as they return home armed with new ideas to share with their peers and members of the CRPA,” he said.

Mr Whatling said he expected the scholarship positions to be highly-contested, with the Coal River group consisting of a number of young members, and the region renowned for its best practice and innovative farming practices.

“The Coal River Valley is well-known for its diversity of rural enterprise, with farmers producing everything from wine grapes to stone fruit and livestock, supported by the development of irrigation in the valley,” he said. “The close proximity to Hobart has also seen a number of farmers increasingly build value-add businesses, whether that being selling strawberries to passing tourists or developing agri-tourism ventures.”

Mr Whatling said the increased complexity of farming operations in the area made it even more pertinent for the younger generation looking to take over the reins of the family business or step up into managerial positions, to be equipped with the business skills to capitalise on these opportunities.

With the Farm Managers Program examining global trends and key influences in agriculture, Mr Whatling said the one-week residential program also covered topics including business planning, financial management, leadership and succession planning.

“Much of the learning also comes from spending the week with like-minded farmers from across Australia and New Zealand, and a range of agricultural sectors,” he said. “A network that continues well after the program has finished with regular alumni initiatives.

To date, more than 300 farmers have graduated from the Farm Managers Program, with the 2018 program to be held in South Australia from June 17 to 22. For more information visit

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has nearly 120 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 is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural 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