Dairy families benefit from pilot program

From: Stock Journal 4 May 2016

Dairy Farmer across the state are be the first to benefit from a pilot farming business program to help them prepare and plan for the future.

The new Farm Business Strategic Review program involves all family members who contribute to farming operations, and uses state-of-the-art web tools and on-farm support to help participants develop their business and financial action plans.

Dairy SA Regional Manager Verity Ingham said this was a difficult time for dairies across SA, however, strong and resilient dairy farm businesses are based on well-prepared financial and production plans.

“Our industry is working hard to equip farmers with the necessary skills to undertake that planning,” she said.

“New web tools developed for this pilot program link directly into ‘DairyBase’, an online resource developed by Dairy Australia.”

Ten dairy businesses have already started the pilot program, with more signing up for the first strategic workshop this week.

The PIRSA-funded program will be managed by Rural Business Support in partnership with Dairy SA.

RBS chief executive Brett Smith said families will come away from the workshops with a strategic business action plan and a bank review.

“The pilot program, with the help of leading farm and bank consultants, was designed to help answer key questions such as ‘where are we’, ‘where are we going’, ‘how do we get there’, and ‘how much will it cost?’,” he said.

Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said the program is all about providing family farming businesses the skills to make better business decisions and managing change, risk and business challenges.

The program has a strong focus on building skills in finance and business planning and bank negotiations, using the latest web tools, as well as expert advice from local business consultants.