Coal River farmer awarded scholarship to attend program for future ag leaders

Recognised as a leading young farmer in Tasmania’s Coal River region, Phillip Morey has been awarded a scholarship to attend one of the country’s most prominent farm business management programs.

Open to members of the Coal River Products Association (CRPA), a dynamic farming group in the Coal River Valley, the scholarship to attend Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program was awarded to Mr Morey by the group’s president, Andrew Beven.

Mr Beven said the Rabobank scholarship, announced at the recent 50-year anniversary of CRPA, would give Mr Morey the opportunity to develop his leadership and management skills to implement in his own business, but also the local region and ag sector more broadly.

“As a young farmer running the property, Phil has shown he has great leadership potential and the opportunity to attend the Farm Managers Program with other leaders in ag is fantastic,” Mr Beven said, “as you can’t put a value on that networking experience.”

Rabobank regional manager of major agri clients in Tasmania Stuart Whatling agreed, saying the program attracted farmers from across Australia and New Zealand and a wide range of agricultural sectors.

“Not only does it provide the opportunity to learn alongside like-minded farmers, with the course covering business planning, financial management, leadership and succession planning, it also provides an extensive alumni network to draw on after the program has finished,” Mr Whatling said.

Attending the residential week-long program from June 17, Mr Morey said he was looking forward to gaining a different perspective from both the course content and the experiences of the other participants.

“I have gained valuable practical experience from running the family farming business,” Mr Morey said, “but I have not had the opportunity of any formal training or education in business management.

“I hope by attending the course I will get a better understanding of the business management side, by gaining better time and people management skills and to increasingly understand how various finance tools can be made use of.

“It will also be a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people from around the country, as often the knowledge from other participants can be just as useful as the course itself.”

Mr Morey, who is fourth generation on his family farm “Flexmore Park”, situated north-east of Hobart between Richmond and Midway Point, has been running the family business with his father since leaving school 14 years ago, and has taken over the management reins in the last four years.

Running a mixed operation, Mr Morey said “Flexmore Park” consisted of Poll Hereford cattle and Polwarth sheep for prime yearlings, fat lambs and wool as well as, a walnut orchard, agroforestry and a sand extraction business supplying sand to the greater Hobart area.

Being based only 30 kilometres from Hobart, Mr Morey said their proximity created opportunities, but also had its challenges.

Seeing the opportunity to have greater engagement with the population so close by, Mr Morey said they were looking at ways to value-add their business and get closer to retail.

“With limited opportunity to expand anywhere adjacent to us, we are looking at what we do, to not only do it better but also intensify, with plans to incorporate a walnut harvesting and processing arm to our business,” he said.

Mr Morey, who has been a member of the CRPA for 15 years, said the group had started after the 1967 bushfires as a way to help local farmers affected by the fires. Comprising of around 60 to 70 members, Mr Morey said the group remained very active, meeting around once a month to discuss issues pertinent to the local area.

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading 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 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