Financing young farmers’ futures

By Dairy News

WestVic Dairy Young Dairy Network and the UDV recently hosted three information sessions on farm financing in Timboon, Colac and Koroit.

These ‘Financing Your Farming Future’ sessions focused on providing information on various pathways into dairy farming, as well as possible pathways to transitioning into retirement or taking a step back.

As part of the presentations, Ron Semmens from Rural Bank spoke on finance options and how to prepare business documents to meet the criteria.

Sam Marwood from Cultivate Farms talked about his passion for providing a service that connects aspiring and retiring farmers with the aim to re-vitalise regional Victoria.

Dairy consultant Chris Hibburt provided different scenarios on how pathways may be achieved and how to manage some of the risks.

Michelle Muir spoke about the options that are available to farmers such as vendor finance, shared equity, sharefarming and leasing.

Feedback from the event indicated that many participants were trying to find ways into dairying. One farmer responded that his goal was “to own and run a farm for (his) kids one day and to enjoy the farm life” with the biggest risk being “getting into big financial trouble”.

Engaging aspiring, as well as retiring, farmers in the same forum is one step forward to connecting people within the industry and provide opportunities for succession planning.

WestVic Dairy values the feedback received and it will be valuable to provide further workshops and information sessions on financial pathways.

WestVic Dairy thanked Lauren Peterson and the UDV’s Alison Lee for their support and help in generating such an engaging event. Thanks were also given to Rural Bank and Fonterra for sponsoring the WestVic Dairy Young Dairy Network and allowing for such events to continue.

• By Heidi Van Es, WestVic Dairy Young Dairy Network regional extension officer