Victorian dairy farmers Brendan and Nicole Saunders know that the key to running a successful business is having everyone on the same page.
Participating in Dairy Australia’s innovative Our Farm, Our Plan provided the Maffra-based couple with a strong understanding of exactly what their vision was, helped set the goals needed to get there and ensured that their staff were all aligned.
“We did Our Farm, Our Plan with our staff and it was absolutely the best thing we’ve done. It was about them, what they want to achieve and their goals in life to ensure the pathway they’re on with us aligns with what they want to achieve,” Nicole says.
Brendan and Nicole own three farms – one is their home farm, the other is leased and the third is share-farmed (50 per cent). There are around 500 cows on each property.
“We’re in the growth stage of our business, so it’s important that everyone’s on the same page and we have a strong knowledge of what our vision is and what our goals are, and how we’re going to achieve that,” says Nicole.
Nicole adds that she would recommend the Our Farm, Our Plan program to anyone.
“We have done already a lot of business strategic and tactical planning. We’d already covered a lot of the course content, but we do an annual review of our strategic plans every year anyway,” she explains.
“It was a perfect revision process for us. But for a lot of people who haven't done that in the business yet, it's a great first starting point. I really hope a lot more people taking advantage for their staff to go on it as well, because I think it's beneficial provide them with a vision and plan.”
Communication was a factor in the program, and Nicole says having a farm consultant was helpful.
“You look at how you communicate as part of a team and your own personality. I think wrapping up with a farm consultant visit is beneficial too – because that keeps you on your toes to make sure you do what you said you would.”
Brendan says participating in Our Farm, Our Plan set the Saunders’ business for success.
“It was a massive benefit to us and our team. It was taking a step back, and you have a bit of an overview of what you can do, because you can get tied up in the day-to-day operations,” he says.
“It’s extremely important to spend the time and invest in your staff – you can’t be everywhere yourself. It’s giving a chance to look at why they want to work for us and where they want to head in the future.”
Learn more about Brendan and Nicole Saunders and their experience with Our Farm, Our Plan.
For further details about Our Farm, Our Plan and how it can help enhance your farm business management, visit dairyaustralia.com.au/ofop or call 1800 548 073.