Leading farmers urged to apply for Rabobank Business Management Programmes – 2024 intake open now

More than 1300 of New Zealand and Australia’s most progressive farmers have graduated from Rabobank’s Business Management Programmes over the past 25 years. And this year more will have the opportunity to join their ranks, with applications now open for the 2024 intake.

Tailored for farmers at different stages in their career, the two programmes on offer – the Executive Development Programme for farm business owners or senior managers and the Farm Managers Programme for up-and-coming farmers – are designed to equip farmers with the latest in business management thinking.

Announcing the opening of applications for 2024, Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country Banking Bruce Weir said farmers on both sides of the Tasman have been dealing with lower commodity prices and variable climatic conditions over the last 12 months, and it was crucial they remained focused on the longer-term viability of their businesses.

“It’s so important for farmers to take a step back from the day-to-day operational-side of their businesses and to spend time developing strategies to ensure that their operations remain resilient into the future,” he said.

Media Release Photos - Grad Programme 2024 - Bruce Weir

Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country Banking, Bruce Weir

“The programmes provide participants with an opportunity to do just this, as well as the chance to spend time with like-minded producers from across the two countries and a range of different sectors.”

The Executive Development Programme will commence in August – covering topics including strategic planning, financial management, communication, governance, negotiation, global trends, innovation and risk.

"The Executive Development Programme is comprised of two week-long modules run over consecutive years. During the last few days of the second module, participant’s partners are invited to join the programme to work together on topics such as succession planning, resilience and human resource management,” Mr Weir said.

With the last two Farm Managers Programmes having taken place in Christchurch, Mr Weir said, this year’s Farm Managers Programme will be run in Victoria’s Yarra Valley in mid-June.

“The Farm Managers Programme is a week-long course developed for primary producers in the earlier stages of their career wanting to build management skills and increase their confidence and ability to influence business decisions,” he said.

“It helps up-and-coming producers develop a more strategic mindset around business planning, people management and financial analysis.”

Mr Weir said one of the long-lasting benefits of attendance on the Business Management Programmes was the ongoing networking opportunities.

“The regular Business Management Programme Alumni events provide attendees with an ongoing opportunity to connect with other programme graduates and, in many cases, relationships formed during the programme endure far beyond the completion of the course,” he said.

Positions on the programmes are set to be highly contested, with farmers selected to attend from a wide range of commodities and geographical regions across New Zealand and Australia.

Applications are open until 22 March 2024 for the Executive Development Programme and Farm Managers Programme as follows:


  • The Farm Managers Programme, 16 to 21 June 2024 in Yarra Valley, Victoria.
  • The Executive Development Programme, 25 to 30 August 2024 followed by the second module from 27 July to 1 August 2025 in Sydney, New South Wales.


For further information or to apply, go to: www.rabobank.co.nz/agribusiness/business-management-programs/

Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customized banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 38 countries, servicing the needs of about 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of close to 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank New Zealand is one of the country's leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the New Zealand food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 27 offices throughout New Zealand.


Media contacts:

David Johnston
Marketing & Media Relations Manager
Rabobank New Zealand
Phone: 04 819 2711 or 027 477 8153
Email: david.johnston@rabobank.com

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations 
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: +612 8115 2744 or +61 2 439 603 525 
Email: denise.shaw@rabobank.com