Courses offer opportunity to build networks

Courses offer opportunity to build networks

Agribusiness
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There are ample opportunities to access professional development in a farming context.

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There are ample opportunities to access professional development in a farming context.

I classify professional development as anything that increases your knowledge, and helps the business grow.

In the past two weeks, I have attended two separate professional development sessions. Coincidentally, both sessions were on the subject of finance, which is highly relevant to someone like me. One was about private equity funding of business, and the other one was a business banking update.

The first session was put on by Agribusiness Australia, and it was right up my alley. But, the second session wasn't really targeted towards an agricultural specialist like me, but more towards the commercial brokers in the room. Even so, that is what makes them so great - what one person gets out of a professional development session is probably different to the person standing next to them.

There are professional development sessions held on a plethora of subjects, most focusing on production or business performance.

Flexibility is a good thing for agribusinesses, given the tyranny of distance.

There are also professional development opportunities on other topics, such as the mindset of a business owner. Mindset as a topic has garnered much more attention in the past 10 years or so.

It is estimated we have 50,000 subconscious thoughts daily. Sounds like a lot to me, but that's what Google says! If your thoughts are predominantly negative, it's going to be a hard road. Specific professional development that addresses mindset is a very worthwhile exercise to undertake.

Personally, I think the power of professional development sessions - besides the information presented - is the networks that are formed with the like-minded people that attend them.

Professional development can be delivered in many ways. Flexibility is a good thing for agribusinesses, given the tyranny of distance.

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The vast improvement of communication technology has certainly helped to this end.

Online training is becoming more prevalent. This allows easy access anywhere, anytime, and does work well for some people. In my view, the face-to-face sessions have more impact. It is not only the information provided, but the opportunity to meet other people.

Sometimes professional development groups can take on a life of their own. In these situations, the group grows and evolves.

I have seen people come together in a professional development session, and they just seem to gel as a group. When this happens, it can be so powerful. Some of these groups end up going in directions that weren't intended initially, but have ended up with great outcomes as a result. For example, some groups may discuss demand for extra services that the organisers of the sessions had not thought of before.

I would say that professional development in general is beneficial. If nothing else, it opens you up to new ideas, and that can't be a bad thing.

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