‘Next-gen’ northern Australian farmers invited to fine-tune their financial management skills


With agriculture in northern Australia currently enjoying a welcome injection of youth, an upcoming workshop has been specifically designed to provide next generation farmers with the financial skills essential to managing a family farm.

The practical Financial Skills Workshop, previously held face-to-face, will now be held virtually, ensuring northern producers still have an opportunity to upskill and network, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The initiative has been spearheaded by food and agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank’s RaboClientCouncil – a group of the bank’s farming clients who volunteer their time implementing programs that contribute to the sustainability of rural communities.

Offered free of charge to participants, the online workshops will focus on practical financial skills such as gross margin analysis, cash flow budgeting and interpreting financial statements.

Rabobank Northern Regional RaboClientCouncil Chair Michael Reinaudo, of Ingham, said he hoped the “next generation” walked away from the workshops feeling positive and inspired to grow their business in the future.

“We are fortunate to have so many young ones returning to the farm in northern Australia, and this course will give them a really comprehensive overview of how to run the farm from a business point of view,” he said.

In light of COVID-19, he said, the previously planned face-to-face workshops had unfortunately been cancelled, however this new, virtual format would be just as effective and engaging.

“Agriculture has moved well beyond the farm gate and it’s imperative to understand the financial basics if we want to keep up globally,” he said.

Mr Reinaudo said the program content would also help put young farmers in the driver’s seat when talking to their financial advisers.

“Having a greater understanding of your business when approaching your financier really helps when applying for any additional finance requirements or to fund a new venture,” he said. “And this kind of information is real and valuable, as it is something you can walk away with from this program and use in the business.”

Rabobank regional manager Trent McIndoe said the workshop content had been 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,” Mr McIndoe said, “and then interpreting the financial ratios to make calculated business decisions.

“This then feeds into sessions on how banks assess a loan and the importance of developing a business plan as well as managing the business through adversity and positioning the business when the season improves.”

Director of Hudson Facilitation, Tony Hudson will present the workshops, along with a number of agribusiness banking professionals.

Funded by RaboClientCouncils, the workshops are open to clients and non-clients of Rabobank and there is no cost for farmers to attend.

To register visit https://www.rabobank.com.au/about-rabobank/client-councils/

Workshop Details are as follows:

Workshop One Workshop Two

Monday 12 October – 9am to 11am Wednesday 4 November – 9am to 11am

Tuesday 13 October – 9am to 11am Thursday 5 November – 9am to 11am

Workshop Three

Wednesday 2 December – 9am to 11am

Thursday 3 December – 9 am to 11am

/Public Release.