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NSW agricultural region showcased to NZ & Australian farmers

Media Release May 8, 2017

New South Wales agricultural region showcased to leading New Zealand and Australian farmers

Puketapu beef finisher Rob Pattullo was one of nearly 50 leading farmers from across New Zealand and Australia to tour North-western New South Wales recently.

Hosted by specialist agricultural bank, Rabobank, the tour group gathered to visit some of the region’s most progressive farming businesses.

“The theme was around scale and efficiency, looking at some huge businesses. The business owners had a full and frank discussion around things like how they got to where they are, business strategy and succession planning – things that apply to all of us,” Rob says.

“Many of them had started from something small and grown their business, implementing some very successful strategies over their farming careers.”

Taking in the vast farming plains around Moree and the productive black soils of the Liverpool Plains, the two-day tour showcased the efficiency gains achieved on some of the region’s dryland and irrigated grain and cotton operations.

The group was made up of graduates of Rabobank’s business management programs (the Executive Development Program and the Farm Managers Program), with the tour providing an opportunity for alumni to re-connect and meet participants from other program intakes – some who attended the inaugural Executive Development Program in 1999.

“Networking with other people in the alumni program, re-connecting and getting to know new people was great. It’s a fantastic program from a business sense, but also a social opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other better,” Rob says.

With the tour focused on creating efficiencies in the business – capital, people and infrastructure – the visiting farmers were given a rare insight into some of the region’s most innovative farming operations – all of which have challenged the status quo to grow their business.

Taking in properties near Pallamallawa, Edgeroi, Merah North, Narrabri and Spring Ridge, the tour also highlighted efficient value chains and logistics management, benchmarking, risk and price management, human resource management practices, irrigation infrastructure and succession planning.

Rob was joined on the tour by his wife Helen, the first time they have participated in an alumni event. Graduating from the Rabobank Executive Development Program in 2010, Rob says the experience was invaluable and he would highly recommend the program to others.

“We were at a stage of life where we had done a lot in our own business but were questioning, where to next? It came at a very good time for us…It’s a great investment in self-improvement, knowledge and a fantastic networking opportunity with like-minded people,” he says.

“You are exposed to really up-to-date, first class thinking. It empowers you and motivated me to come home and implement some of that in what we were doing here.

“I would strongly recommend the program. It’s a great opportunity, on a range of fronts, to expose yourself and your business to some great thinking.”

Rabobank offers two farm business management programs focused on developing the latest practices in business management, leadership, strategy, finance, human resources, value chain management and marketing, applied directly to farm businesses.

The Rabobank Executive Development Program, developed for business owners and senior managers, will be held in August this year, with applications for the 2017 program open until the end of May.

The Rabobank Farm Managers Program, is open to progressive young farmers looking to hone in on their management capabilities. Applications for next year’s program – which will be held in June 2018 - will open early next year.

Producers interested in an application form or any further information on the Rabobank Business Management Programs can visit

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has nearly 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

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