Families from 30 farm businesses have been upskilled on finance and business to help them better prepare, manage and recover from drought in a new program funded by the Marshall Liberal Government and run by Rural Business Support (RBS).

Farm Business Strategic Review Drought Management workshops were recently run in the Mallee, Mid North and Eyre Peninsula, targeting mixed cropping and livestock families.

RBS is now conducting one-on-one farm visits to further assist those families who were involved in the recent workshops.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the workshops were an important tool in helping farmers improve financial management and better prepare for drought.

“The skills being built through this program allow farmers to plot a stronger, more resilient future for their farm, which can only mean positive outcomes for the individual business and communities who rely on these businesses,” said Minister Whetstone.

“It is vital that we continue to work with farmers to ensure they are better prepared for adverse weather events, such as drought, and are able to remain profitable long-term contributors to the agriculture industry in South Australia.

“Feedback from the program indicates participants are reporting greater confidence and improved investment opportunities for the viability of their farming businesses.”

Rural Business Support CEO Brett Smith said more than 90 per cent of participants rated the program as “highly valuable” for its approach to improving strategic business planning skills and driving decision making.

“This program is all about building the long-term resilience of family farms. Farm business analysts work with each family to develop a clear strategic action plan, which leads to greater confidence in managing their business during – and beyond – these challenging conditions,” Mr Smith said.

Livestock SA CEO Andrew Curtis said the program provides excellent support for its members who are experiencing drought conditions.

“Having a better understanding of a business’s financial position can support timely decision-making, investment in new technology and systems which in turn can lead to increased profitability and a greater ability to plan and manage for the long-term,” Mr Curtis said.