7 August 2007
In late August Alec Jack is set to attend Rabobank’s Executive Development Programme (EDP) - a premier management program designed to help leading and innovative primary producers develop their business and management skills.
Only 36 positions are available each year and Mr Jack was successful in being offered a place from a large pool of applicants.
He and his family were winners of the 2006 Ballance Farm Environment Awards for the Northland region, and his participation in the management programme is being sponsored by the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards (NZFEA) Trust.
NZFEA general manager David Natzke says the Trust is thrilled to be sponsoring Mr Jack. “There’s a real depth of talent among the winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards and the Trust has been looking at ways in which we can help foster this talent.”
Mr Natzke says Mr Jack will be encouraged to share what he learns at the EDP with the wider farming community.
During the programme, Mr Jack, who with wife Kelly runs a beef finishing operation on 564ha of family owned land at Pakaraka in the Bay of Islands, will get to rub shoulders with top primary producers and leading agribusiness specialists.
The course covers a wide range of business management topics, but Mr Jack is especially keen to learn more about farm succession planning and farm business and human resource management.
“I’m the third generation of the family to farm this land, so I want to explore ways in which we can keep the farm in the family, while, most importantly, making sure everyone stays happy.”
Mr Jack also wants to learn how to become a better employer and a more efficient business manager.
He says he is very grateful for the chance to attend the programme and feels “a weight of responsibility” to be a good ambassador for the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
“When my family put their entry in for the 2006 Ballance Farm Environment Awards we had no idea that it would open up so many doors of opportunity. So I’d certainly encourage other farmers to consider entering the 2008 awards.”
Mr Jack sees his role as a BFEA judge for the Northland region as one way of putting something back into the awards, “and I will use every chance I get to convey the message that it is possible to achieve a real harmony between good environmental management and good business management”.
Entries for the 2008 Ballance Farm Environment Awards open soon.