Becoming a Focus Farm
Things to know about the Focus Farm program
The program goal is to enhance your farm profitability through improved business decision making. As a Focus Farm, you will work closely with an experienced consultant. Together you will carefully monitor farm activities and expenditures, gaining insights into your business and developing suitable strategies. During the program a dedicated support group of farmers and local service providers will be your network for encouragement and further learning through collaborative discussions.
The program is not a cookie-cutter approach, but actually develops from your own farm business goals, be they finance, people, lifestyle, or increasing efficiencies. This approach ensures your Focus Farm resulting systems and processes are unique to you and your farm, while still benefiting from the studies and models from earlier Focus Farm participants.
Dairy NSW initiated the program in New South Wales in 2014, engaging two farms for the program, Wogamia Dairy and Raelands Dairy.
What to expect
Focus Farm support group meetings
Every Focus Farm works with a support group including farmers and local service providers. Every Focus Farm support group meeting is facilitated by an experienced consultant who is the main point of contact across the two-year program.
Meetings are held once every six weeks averaging 16 sessions over two-years. All meetings are held on your farm and run for three to four hours, including discussions, lunch break and a farm walk. Discussion topics for each meeting are decided based on what’s important for your farm business and includes:
- Current regional issues, e.g. feed and water pricing and the affects to your business planning
- Support group member updates on their business and current farming conditions
- Financial analysis for the period
- Ongoing financial planning for the months ahead
- Identifying opportunities for the business
Across the program, several field days are held on your farm. On field days, the farm is open to the public, who participate in a farm walk and a general and informative discussion about the business operations. Your Focus Farm consultant facilitates the day, supporting you and the guests to gain the most benefit from the time.
Promotion of Focus Farm learnings
Throughout the program, the important financial and production indicators of your farm’s progress are promoted in the Dairy NSW newsletter and website. These provide valuable information and models for other dairy farmers in our region to learn from and validates the program successes. Image and video footage is also used to attract a wider audience beyond the region, promoting learning and understanding of the Focus Farm journey.
From time to time the Focus Farmer is asked by the program facilitator to provide farm updates and comment on the program. This information forms a part of the reporting required by program funding bodies, Dairy NSW and Dairy Australia. Reporting is organised by the facilitator and a project manager employed by Dairy Australia.
Have questions? Please contact April Browne via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 02 4655 0737