Home > Highland View wins Rabobank’s 2011 Farm Managers Program Award

Highland View wins Rabobank’s 2011 Farm Managers Program Award

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article image Mark and Amanda Watson receiving the Rabobank 2011 Farm Managers Program award with Rabobank general manager Country Banking Australia Peter Knoblanche

Hawke’s Bay farmer Mark Watson of Highland View and winner of Rabobank’s prestigious 2011 Farm Managers Program business development award attributed the win to personal and business performance benchmarking in his farming operation.    

The Rabobank Farm Managers Program is a business management course designed to develop the operational and strategic business skills of young farmers who represent the next generation of leading farm business owners.  

Now in its sixth year, the 2011 Program was held in Brisbane this month, attended by 30 participants from both islands of New Zealand and all states of Australia, representing a wide range of agricultural commodities.  

Mr Watson won the 2011 award in recognition of his ‘improvement plan’ executed across all levels of his farming operation that resulted in higher productivity gains for his farming business.    

Receiving the prize at the program dinner held in Brisbane, Mr Watson said the course had far exceeded his expectations, going beyond farming and delving into business and personality assessments to enable participants to get a very well-rounded assessment of running their enterprises.    

While Mr Watson’s Farm Managers project was focused on his ‘personal improvement plan’, which explored his leadership style, emotional intelligence, time management and communication, his ‘business improvement plan’, the second part of his project involved the development of a strategic business plan with inputs from the entire business team at his farm.    

Located in Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of New Zealand, Mr Watson’s family farming business operation winters 9,000 stock units on 750 hectares of rolling to medium-steep summer dry country. The enterprise is mainly a margin trading business, which includes 80 dairy carryover cows, 500 two-year old bulls and steers, 200 yearling stags and finishes approximately 8,500 lambs/hoggets.    

Mr Watson adds that the Rabobank Farm Managers Program has made a positive impact on his farming operation with even small changes making a big difference to the business.    

Rabobank Farm Managers Program director and one of the award judges, Angus Taylor said Mr Watson’s personal and business productivity plan had a positive impact on his business ‘by weeding out’ certain behaviour traits.  

He adds that the idea that the personal productivity of leaders is central to business profitability is an important principle of the Farms Managers Program, which aims to provide an unrivalled opportunity for the development of the sectors’ emerging leaders.    

The Rabobank Farm Managers Program is designed for farm business managers who will be running and taking ownership of a leading agribusiness in the future. Applications for the 2012 program will open in early 2012.

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