Northern Australian farmers invited to fine tune their financial management skills at free workshops


A practical workshop specifically designed to provide the financial skills essential to manage a farming operation will soon be available for northern primary producers.

Following the success of last year’s virtual Financial Skills Workshop – which prior to COVID-19 was held face-to-face – the course will again be conducted online in 2021.

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 – the initiative is offered free of charge to farmers in the region.

The interactive workshop will focus on practical financial skills, such as gross margin analysis, cash flow budgeting and interpreting financial statements.

Rabobank Northern Territory and Northern Queensland RaboClientCouncil chair Michael Reinaudo, of Ingham, said the response to last year’s virtual format was overwhelming, with the workshops having booked out quickly.

“While it’s unfortunate we couldn’t run the previously planned face-to-face workshops due to COVID-19 restrictions, the online option was equally as successful, with people appreciating the opportunity to learn new skills without leaving home,” he said.

Mr Reinaudo said he hoped producers walked away from the workshops – which are designed specifically for farm owners and managers – feeling positive and inspired to grow their business in the future.

“This course will give farmers a really comprehensive overview of how to run the farm from a business point of view,” he said. “Agriculture has moved well beyond the farm gate and it’s imperative to understand the financial basics.”

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

“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. 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.

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.

/Public Release.