Young Riverina farmer awarded scholarship
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Rabobank
 

Young Riverina farmer awarded scholarship to attend program for future ag leaders

A young grain and sheep producer from the Riverina has been awarded an industry scholarship to attend the prestigious Rabobank Farm Managers Program.

Recognised as a future leader in the agricultural industry, Alice Clark from “Rivington”, near Ardlethan in the state’s south, was selected from a field of young farmers to receive the fully-funded position on the farm business management program, designed to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of Australia’s emerging farmers.

Funded by the Southern Queensland & Northern New South Wales Client Council – a group of Rabobank’s farming clients whose initiatives contribute to the sustainability of rural communities – in partnership with the Future Farmers Network (FFN), the scholarship was awarded to the FFN member who displayed a clear ambition and desire to help the sustainability of their industry.

RaboClientCouncil Chair for Southern Queensland & Northern New South Wales Stuart Armitage, of “Wamara”, Cecil Plains, said it was the second time the scholarship had been awarded, with Alex Davies of “Box Ridge”, Coonabarabran, taking out the inaugural award to attend the 2019 Farm Managers Program.

“The scholarship wasn’t offered in 2020 due to COVID but we are delighted Alice will be able to attend the program in early 2022,” he said.

Chosen from a strong field of applicants, Mr Armitage said the scholarship represented the Client Council’s strong commitment to “support young people in ag” with Ms Clark chosen for her contribution to her farming business, community and industry organisations.

“Alice is highly committed to being a farmer and doing what she does really well, but has taken it a step further by helping and being involved in her community and various committees,” he said. “It is good if young people are involved in farming but even better if they are also involved in the ag sector more broadly.”

Mr Armitage said with the business of farming becoming more complex – with climatic, market and sustainability factors all at play – it is even more “important for young people to develop their skillset to sell what we’re doing and to get the story out” to consumers.

The Rabobank Farm Managers Program covers topics including global trends in agriculture, business planning, financial management, leadership, people management and succession planning.

Non-executive Director and Secretary of the FFN, Caitlin McConnel of "Cressbrook" Station, Toogoolawah said that ensuring longevity in agriculture is centered in the ability of individuals to evolve and adapt their businesses to withstand economic and climatic influences.

"Self-development through courses such as the Rabobank Farm Managers Program is vital to ensuring that young agriculturalists are establishing strong business skills, which form the very foundation of their business," she said. "Alice's desire to utilise her own self-development to not only evolve her business, but to aid and encourage others in the industry is demonstrative of FFN and Rabobank's mutual vision to support, educate and empower young people in agriculture."

Due to attend the residential week-long program in February, 2022 in the Hawkesbury Valley, Ms Clark said she was prompted to apply for the scholarship by others who had attended the program and with the content being “relevant to where I’m at in my career and where I want to go”.

“Investing in your own knowledge and experience is the best way to remain a relevant, progressive professional in agriculture,” she said, “as I look to gain as much experience as possible to work towards managing my own enterprise and give back to the industry”.

Involved in the day-to-day running of the family’s 2960 hectare broadacre cropping and trade lamb enterprise together with her parents, Malcolm and Eliza, and brother, Hayden, Ms Clark said she was also working to “digitise the business to allow for easier access and analysis of data”.

“I want to focus on becoming more knowledgeable in financial analysis and analytics to be able to continually review the percentage of each enterprise, rotations, inputs, infrastructure, capital, staff workload and future expansion,” she said.

Returning to the family farm earlier this year after a stint on a large-scale farming operation at Moree, Ms Clark, who holds a Bachelor of Agriculture & Business from the University of New England, said she was looking forward to the budgeting, business planning and communication components of the Farm Managers Program.

“I am increasingly focused on planning and forecasting within the business and see the program as a fantastic opportunity to develop and refine these business skills,” she said.

Ms Clark said the program also focuses on skills that are required to overcome the major issues of environment and sustainability, succession growth and transition, and political climate and markets.

Actively involved in grower and industry groups to “create positive change in the grains and wider agricultural industry”, Ms Clark said she was also looking forward to the networking component of the program.

“Meeting people from different enterprises but in similar situations, whether that is on the family farm or stepping up the corporate ladder, there is much we can all learn from each other,” she said.

The Rabobank Farm Managers Program will run from 27 February to 4 March, 2022 with farmers from around the country selected across a broad range of agricultural commodities.

 

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 38 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.4 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 93 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

 

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

 


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