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Farm Business Management Programs

The programs and projects DairyTas runs or supports are listed by the strategic priorities of DairyTas and Dairy Australia.

A number of courses are delivered by our major partners TasTAFE or TIA and are supported by DairyTas with resources and quality assurance.

To view a list of upcoming events, please visit our events calendar.

 

  • Copy Link Focus Farm

    The Focus Farms program provides deep insight into local Tasmanian farming methods and industry-standard business practices - helping increase efficiencies and work/life balance for Tasmanian dairy farmers. 

    Tasmanian Focus Farm

    The national Focus Farms program has been running Australia-wide for more than eight years and running in the DairyTas region since 2014. Focus Farms is a two year on-farm program. Through on-farm meetings, open days and publicly available reporting, Focus Farms benefits participants and interested farmers and communities both in Tasmania and nationally, creating a growing network of dairy farms across Australia that are now models of whole farm systems and profitability.

    Find out what's happening on the current Focus Farm

  • Copy Link Meet the Bank workshop

    Meet the Bank

    COURSE OUTLINE

    This workshop is for groups of farmers to share and discuss practical ideas for preparing to meet with your bank. Topics covered include:

    • Building a partnership relationship with your bank
    • Key documents to have ready and key questions to ask
    • Questions to expect from the bank
    • Useful dairy industry financial management tools
    • Understand your borrowing capacity
    • Banking terms and conditions you'll need to know

    Expressions of interest

    For information, course dates and locations, please DairyTas on:

    Phone: 6432 2233
    Email: admin@dairytas.net.au

  • Copy Link The Dairy Office

    The Dairy Office

    COURSE OUTLINE

    This one day workshop will help you plan and establish your dairy farm business office practices, including:

    • Physical office set up
    • Office processes
    • Record keeping
    • Systems
    • Accounting software options and benefits

    Expressions of interest

    For information, course dates and locations, please DairyTas on:

    Phone: 6432 2233
    Email: admin@dairytas.net.au

  • Copy Link Financial Literacy for Dairy Farmers

    Financial Literacy for Dairy Farmers

    TARGET AUDIENCE

    The program is suitable for dairy business owners who have recently entered the dairy industry in the form of contracting, share farming or farm ownership. The program is also applicable to long term business owners who are needing or wanting to improve their understanding of basic financial management in a business. Managers who have budgetary responsibility will also gain skills from this course.

    GOALS OF THE COURSE

    This program has been designed to enhance the financial literacy skills of dairy farmers by providing them with the skills and knowledge required to:

    • Develop a financial plan to support business viability
    • Report financial activity for business both in response to requests (eg bank manager) and to meet statutory requirements (eg tax)

    COURSE OUTLINE

    The program is delivered over 9 sessions in 2 different formats. Participants will be expected to take part in 7 classroom training days which are spread over a 12 to 15 week period. Also included in this time will be 2 individual visits from a course mentor.

    The course is delivered by TasTAFE with participants receiving credits for two Certificate 4 units – Report on Financial Activities and Plan Small Business Finance.

    Topics covered during the program include:

    • Development of a cashbook and chart of accounts for your own business
    • Understanding Tax Reporting Requirements
    • Developing a cash flow for your business
    • Understanding livestock trading
    • Understanding depreciation
    • Interpreting and understanding Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets
    • Business Activity Statements (BAS)
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Sourcing finances
    • Financial planning
    • Talking with your bank manager 

    Participants will undertake a project throughout the program and present their findings to the group on the last day of the program.

    As part of the program mentors will sit in all classroom sessions. Mentors are a mix of consultants and accountants with specific dairy interests. The mentors then work in groups and individually with participants both during the course and for 2 days outside of the classroom.

    RESOURCES THAT WILL BE USED

    • Learners Guide – available only at the course.
    • Rural Accountants, Consultants and Bank Managers also form part of the classroom presentations
    • Standard Chart of Accounts
    • DairyBase

    Expressions of interest

    Jocelyn Griffiths at TasTAFE
    Phone: 6477 7480
    Email: jocelyn.griffiths@tastafe.tas.edu.au

  • Copy Link Dairy Farm Business Analysis

    Dairy Farm Business Analysis

    TARGET AUDIENCE

    Farm owners and share farmers who have access to farm finance figures and the ability to make changes on their farm. The course is ideally suited to those who have previously benchmarked their business in some form, but previous benchmarking is not a pre-requisite.

    GOALS OF THE COURSE

    • To enable people involved in a dairy business to ‘assess’ the business – long-term and short-term perspectives
    • To know the right questions to ask of a business’ financial figures and how to get the right answers when reading financial reports.

    COURSE OUTLINE

    A Dairy Farm Business Analysis activity has been developed for farmers, based around the DairyBase online program. It is conducted over 3 days.

    • Day 1 focuses on foundation principles - the factors affecting profitable dairy farming
    • Day 2 teaches the mechanics of DairyBase – completing the input sheet and entering the data
    • Day 3 examines case studies already in DairyBase including sometimes your own reports

    BACKGROUND

    The reason for undertaking an annual business analysis is to provide meaningful data on historical performance that can be also be used as a solid base to make future decisions.

    The volatility of the operating environment and the increasing complexity and diversity of dairy farm businesses make it more important for managers to understand the individual performance of their business.

    We rarely know if a business is really operating well without undertaking analysis of the business eg a farm that doesn’t look flash can be profitable.
    The use of annual business performance data will depend on the question that is being asked.

    This workshop is about linking the ‘getting the big picture settings right’ (eg how many cows do I milk, how exposed should I be to the purchased feed market and to debt) with the day to day decisions (eg should I feed another kg of grain per cow, should I put on 80 or 100 kg / ha of urea).

    DairyBase is a tool that provides a sound analysis of annual performance. However, we want participants to question what is behind the numbers, what are they based on and how are they calculated. We don’t want participants to treat DairyBase as some kind of magic black box.

    We want participants to understand the limitations of DairyBase, in particular that DairyBase generates average values as they are calculated from the total output divided by the total input (e.g. kg MS / cow). This means DairyBase is not the appropriate tool to predict potential increases in profit as a result of a change in management. We need to use different tools that include marginal thinking, marginal analysis and partial budgets.

    RESOURCES THAT WILL BE USED

    Expressions of interest

    For information and course dates, please contact DairyTas on:

    Phone: 6432 2233
    Email: admin@dairytas.net.au

    More DairyBase information available from the Dairy Farm Business Analysis Fact Sheets page.

  • Copy Link Business Governance

    Business Governance

    TARGET AUDIENCE

    Farm or business owners looking to improve how their business operates from a managerial perspective. It is recommended that all decision making members of a business attend the workshop. This course is targeted for farmers with more than 300 cows.

    GOALS OF THE COURSE

    Participants in the course are expected to have the following learning outcomes:

    • List farm governance principles and how adoption can create a competitive advantage
    • List and identify key values that define the preferred culture for a farm business
    • Determine the role of policy and list the practical benefits of application
    • Describe the difference between operational and strategic thinking and implement strategic planning within their business
    • Develop a plan for managing risk in their business
    • Develop an organisational structure with identifies clear roles and responsibilities
    • Identify the benefits of and process to set-up an advisory board
    • Understand how implementation of governance, systems and processes ensure transparency, accountability and consistent daily management
    • Develop a plan for the implementation of critical key actions

    COURSE OUTLINE

    This 2-day workshop is run by David Heinjus from Rural Directions on behalf of Dairy Australia. The days are split such that day one covers off on business governance issues and day two looks at business investment options. Topics covered in the 2 days include:

    • What is corporate governance?
    • Culture, values and strategy – how these three components interact to improve success
    • Strategic planning process – strategic vs operational thinking and intuitive vs formalised management
    • Risk management – developing a framework to enable sound business and industry risk management
    • How can advisory boards assist with managing the business and facilitate governance
    • What have some businesses done with their business model, culture to achieve a business objective
    • Investment Principles and Farm Management
    • Corporate investment in the Australian Dairy Industry
    • Setting up a model greenfield equity partnership
    • Issues to be managed with transitioning from an own and operate to an equity partnership
    • Due diligence for the intuitive manager
    • Productive valuation methodology
    • Risks to be managed

    RESOURCES THAT WILL BE USED

    • Learners Guide and case studies – available only at the course.

    Expressions of interest

    For information and course dates, please contact DairyTas on:

    Phone: 6432 2233
    Email: admin@dairytas.net.au

    More DairyBase information available from the Dairy Farm Business Analysis Fact Sheets page.