Chairman’s message: Handing over the reins

By Dairy News

AS WE enter a new season, this year, more than ever, has highlighted the continual need to plan and monitor your strategy to minimise risk to your business. Hopefully you have made or are making decisions to maximise the coming spring. If you are like me, reserve fodder supply is so low that anything I can grow during the next eight weeks will be a positive.

Water budgets, fertiliser application or talking to fodder suppliers should all be on our minds as should farm budgets, cash flows and talking to our bankers. We will be busy, as the spring calving continues, but we need to focus on our businesses to maximise our returns.

Murray Dairy is still offering its one-to-one farm business management mentoring, in conjunction with AgBiz Assist, which is designed to help you get your head around business management processes. These consultations are able to be flexible to meet the needs of any business so it’s certainly worth getting in touch with Murray Dairy if you are looking for some support at this time, even just a second set of eyes to look over your books.

This column will be my last as chair of Murray Dairy. Greg Ault and I will step down from the board at the AGM in October and two new directors will take our places. I would like to thank all the current and new directors for taking the time to commit to Murray Dairy; it’s quite a commitment of time and effort and at times continually juggling priorities, but as this is our industry we must give back to ensure focus is delivered to the right areas, and you only get out what you put in. Greg is one such character: I first met Greg at a UDV meeting more than two decades ago; I think he has earnt the right to step back a little, but not completely.

This is why all organisations need a managed succession program. Not only do we value experience but also need new ideas and future leaders to step into organisations; so to our new directors, thank you for your commitment to the future of our industry.

We have a great team at Murray Dairy. Led by Jenny but contributed to by all; throw in a board comprising a diverse range of skills, and I think we have the right mix to focus on the needs of the farmer base in the region. Of course we should not get complacent, we have had and will continue to have many challenges to our industry and region — and farm profitability, animal welfare and water policy are but a few. But I know working together as a collegiate body with other industry partners is the only way to create a better outcome.

Thanks for your time, and I wish everyone a positive season to come!

• Rick Cross

Murray Dairy chair