Management

Getting bigger, getting out, getting in or just getting better?

By Dairy News

DAIRY FARMERS in the Murray Dairy region of northern Victoria and southern NSW are no strangers to change.

There is significant change occurring in the operating environment, from markets and policy to climate and water.

Recognising this, Murray Dairy has developed its Accelerating Transitions project to support businesses undergoing any transition — succession, growth, farm system change or exit.

As part of the project, Murray Dairy has partnered with AgBiz Assist to offer a free consultation service to dairy farmers. Sixty farm businesses in the region have already benefitted from the company offering support and planning.

There are two separate sessions that dairy farmers can use:

  • The Transition consultations provide direction for business succession, transition, expansion, contraction or any other major business change. A trained adviser will run you through the implications, tips, tricks, who to speak to, how to prepare to engage professional services (such as an accountant or lawyer) and leave you with a clear path to proceed with confidence.
  • The Farm Business Mentoring consultations provide the chance to upskill or implement a farm business practice or process that you need to help improve your business and feel in control of the administration, finance and record keeping side of your operation.

AgBiz Assist adviser Jim Moll has been delivering the consultations and said while the sessions were varied in content, they consistently provided greater clarity for the farming family to move forward.

He said many businesses take up both sessions.

“Often talk of succession leads back to an understanding of how profitable and secure the business is, so farmers will complete a business mentoring session to determine this before proceeding with a succession session,” Mr Moll said.

“It’s like needing to know how big the pie is before you decide how to slice it.”

Brian Hinneberg, also of AgBiz Assist, said consultations were tailored for the participants.

“It gives each family the opportunity to discuss their particular circumstances with an independent consultant,” Mr Hinneberg said.

“For some families it is the first time they have discussed these deeper issues and find the guidance of a trained facilitator a positive experience.

“There is no one right way to consider the future, but all agree that setting the family priorities and then having a document to refer back to is an important step. It opens up the communications between family members.”

Murray Dairy regional extension officer Lachlan Barnes is keen to see many farmers through the project, but stresses that with limited places available, they should get in early to secure a session.

For more information or to book a session, email Lachlan Barnes at Murray Dairy at lachlanb@murraydairy.com.au or phone 0438 092 352.

This project is supported by a grant from the Federal Government through the Building Better Regions Fund.