Atherton, Ingham and Charters Towers to host Rabobank’s farm financial skills workshops


Northern Queensland primary producers have the opportunity to expand their knowledge, free of charge, at a series of Rabo Client Council workshops designed to help provide the financial skills essential to managing an agricultural enterprise.

The communities of Atherton, Ingham and Charters Towers will host the practical Financial Skills Workshops – providing farmers with an opportunity to both upskill and network – in mid-March.

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

Offered free of charge to participants, the 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.

Northern Queensland/Northern Territory Rabo Client Council member and Charters Towers-based beef producer, Sonia Spurdle said “financial skills are critical for our producers and future producers”.

“Gross margin analysis is a crucial step in planning and decision making in an agricultural enterprise. In this series of workshops, we take an enterprise focused approach,” she said. “The workshop content will consider both cash flow implications of a variety of enterprise choices. And there will also be a focus on preparing annual cash flow budgets.

With many North Queensland producers starting to see some positive changes in the seasonal conditions, these workshops provide an excellent opportunity to step back from the operational side of the business for a day, Ms Spurdle said.

“This allows producers to develop some new skills helping their businesses remain financially strong,” she said.

“We are seeing generational family members now coming to attend these workshops giving them some of the start-up skills in the financial side of the family business.”

Ms Spurdle said the Rabo Client Council network developed meaningful grassroots initiatives to support key themes focusing on agri education, rural health, sustainability, adaption and creating the rural/urban connections. “And the Financial Skills Workshops are one such initiative – helping to build strength and resilience into our local businesses, and in turn, our communities,” she said.

Rabobank head of relationship management for Northern Queensland and Northern Territory Joe Webb said farmers who had attended previous Rabobank Financial Skills Workshops have told the bank the knowledge provided is real and valuable – “useful information they can walk away with and apply in their enterprise”.

Mr Webb said for primary producers, having a better understanding of their operation when approaching financiers can also help when applying for any additional finance requirements or to fund a new initiative.

“Since launching these workshops in 2018, the Rabo Client Councils have presented this learning opportunity to more than 3,300 farmers across Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

“If you’re interested in attending these workshops, keen to meet other leading producers in the agri sector and increase your financial literacy and skills – confirm your place before the courses are fully allocated.”

The workshops – which will be limited to 30 participants each and are not restricted to the bank’s clients – will be presented by director of Hudson Facilitation, Tony Hudson.

Workshop dates and locations are:

  • Wednesday, 20 March 2024 – 8:30am – 3:30pm – Atherton
  • Thursday, 21 March 2024 – 8:30am – 3:30pm – Ingham
  • Friday, 22 March 2024 – 8.30am – 3.30pm – Charters Towers

To register to participate, please click here

Morning tea and lunch catering will be provided.

/Public Release.