Farming Finance Workshops come to Benalla

By Simon Ruppert

Young farmers in Benalla can hone their financial management skills at a free workshop this month.

Farmers in the north east will be the first in Victoria to have access to the free workshops with the program kicking off in Benalla and Moama, before being rolled out across the state.

The workshops, which are an initiative of Rabobank's Client Councils – a group of the bank’s farming clients who meet to discuss issues and implement initiatives to contribute to the sustainability of rural communities.

The program has been designed to give the next generation of farmers access to financial education in the communities in which they live.

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The idea is to give the next generation of farmers a "leg up" in financial management to help grow their family business.

The practical one-day Farm Financial Skills Workshop will be held in Benalla on August 28.

The event, which is free of charge, will include sessions on gross margin analysis, cash-flow budgeting and interpreting financial statements.

Rabobank Client Council member for Riverina and Northern Victoria, Edwina Beveridge, from Blantyre Farms, said the upcoming workshops aimed to equip young farmers with the financial training to make better decisions for their farming businesses.

“Having that financial acumen puts you in the driver’s seat when talking to your financial advisors, whether that be your banker or accountant,” Mrs Beveridge said

“And (it) helps set the direction of the business."

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Mrs Beveridge said the client council was looking forward to bringing the workshop to the local region, following the success of those held in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

“Having the workshops right here on our doorstep gives little excuse not to attend,” she said.

“Farmers who attended the recent workshops in Queensland said they not only walked away with improved financial management skills but also got to catch up with other like-minded farmers from across the district.”

Rabobank general manager knowledge and networks, sustainability and community engagement Marc Oostdijk 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 Oostdijk said.

“(They will also help attendees) interpret 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.”

The workshops are open to clients and non-clients of Rabobank.

For more information or to apply to attend the Moama or Benalla workshops, phone Alison Rumble on 02 6932 8900 or email [email protected]