Farmers across central New South Wales have the chance to expand their knowledge, free of charge, at a series of Rabobank workshops designed to help provide the financial skills essential to managing an agricultural operation.
The initiative has been spearheaded and funded by food and agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank’s Client Council – a group of the bank’s farming clients who volunteer their time implementing programs which contribute to the sustainability of rural and regional communities.
Offered at no cost to participants, the introductory, interactive workshops provide practical, hands-on advice for understanding financial statements and banking requirements, and explore topics such as taxation versus management accounting, essential business management ratios and understanding key components of a business’s financial profile.
Rabobank regional manager for central and northern NSW, Toby Mendl said financial skills “are critical for our farmers and future farmers”.
Mr Mendl said the bank had been running the Financial Skills Workshops nationally since 2018 and, to date, had assisted 2500 participants in “upskilling themselves on this aspect of their business”.
“These workshops provide knowledge and insight about running and managing the day-to-day aspects of agricultural businesses from a financial perspective,” he said. “The content provided through the workshops is real and valuable – it is meaningful knowledge you can walk away with and use in any business
“The workshops also seek to attract and retain the next generation in the industry and complement farmers’ existing knowledge base to help position their businesses for long-term success.”
Mr Mendl said, for farmers, having a greater understanding of their business when approaching their financier can also help when applying for any additional finance requirements or to fund a new venture.
The content for each local workshop is tailored to farming businesses in the region through realistic case studies.
“Through these case studies, the sessions will look at what makes up a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow, and interpreting the financial ratios to make informed business decisions,” Mr Mendl said.
“This then feeds into sessions on how banks assess a loan application and the importance of developing a business plan, as well as managing the business through adversity and positioning the business when the season improves.”
Mr Mendl urged interested farmers in the region to register for the upcoming workshops to be held in central New South Wales.