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Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program brings business back into agriculture

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article image James Millner

The Farm Managers Program offered by leading food and agribusiness banking services provider, Rabobank  is helping young farm managers such as James Millner incorporate key business skills into their farm management activities.  

According to James Millner from Blayney, New South Wales, the integration of good business management skills into running a farm is crucial in agriculture today. He had taken up the opportunity to enrol in Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program, the business focus of which helped him look at his family farm as a business enterprise.  

Mr Millner adds that the program delves into the business side of things a lot more than other agricultural courses.    

Now in its seventh year, the Farm Managers Program is modelled on Rabobank’s highly-respected Executive Development Program and aims to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of tomorrow’s farm managers.  

Open to all progressive young farmers from across Australia and New Zealand growing a range of agricultural commodities, the program covers topics around leadership, business planning, financial and economic management, and succession planning.  

James is responsible for a farm at Dubbo as well as the management of his family’s farming business, ‘Rosedale’ Charolais Stud in addition to the 450-cow commercial herd and 450 hectares of cropping land.  

A graduate with a degree in Business from the University of Technology, Sydney, James was able to drill down into some of these learnings from the Farm Managers Program and apply the same principles in an agricultural context. Better staff management and effective communication are some of the gains made from the program.  

According to James, the course highlights the availability of good opportunities in agriculture. Succession planning is another core component of the Farm Managers Program, which is of relevance to James as his brother will be moving home at some point in the future.

Applications for the 2012 Farm Managers Program are now open. While making the announcement, Rabobank group executive Neil Dobbin said that strong business management and leadership skills are becoming increasingly essential in order for primary producers to succeed and grow their enterprises.  

Rabobank’s farm business management programs play an important role in supporting the development of Australian and New Zealand agricultural businesses, providing a unique opportunity for progressive farmers and primary producers to enhance their commercial management skills, develop market driven production strategies and explore options for sustained business growth.    

Applications for the 2012 Rabobank Farm Managers Program are open until 27 April. Only 36 applicants will be offered places on the program, which will be held at the Clear Mountain Lodge in Brisbane from 18 June to 22 June.

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