Enhance your farm financial analysis with support

Kim Price has worked at GippsDairy for the past three years, and her experience on the family farm underpinned her success as a Regional Extension Advisor.

It also enabled her to connect with the local community of dairy farmers.


Kim is now a Farm Engagement Lead but in her previous role, she had a particular focus on supporting farmers undertaking the Our Farm, Our Plan program.


She is also one of a three-person management team on her family farm, where 800 dairy cows are milked in two herds, using a herringbone and a rotary dairy.


On the family farm, Kim is responsible for ordering and organising the delivery of grain, people management including staff rosters, and farm safety. Her brother, Scott, is the general manager, with responsibility for day-to-day management of the farm and workforce.


Their sister, Trudy, ensures the financial side of the business, including payroll, is up to date.


As a team, they have completed a number of Dairy Australia courses including Farm Business Fundamentals, Farm Business Snapshot, DairyBase and Our Farm, Our Plan.


This gave Kim personal insights and experience when speaking with dairy farmers in Gippsland about support available to help improve their business performance.


“Right at the start is Farm Business Fundamentals, which is the first step to learning about your financials,” Kim says.


“Farm Business Snapshot is a quick and easy way to look at your profitability and because you record data each year, enables you to benchmark against your own farm’s performance. Then you start to see a pattern.


“If you want a more comprehensive analysis of your figures, you can move into the DairyBase tool.”


Accessed online, DairyBase helps dairy farmers and advisors measure and compare farm business performance over time.


Through this tool, farmers are equipped to make better informed decisions and generate comparative analysis according to farm size, region, and production system.


Our Farm, Our Plan offers a more strategic focus to identify the future direction of the dairy business and the long-term roles of the principals or partners involved in the farm.


“Stepping through Our Farm Our Plan is really useful to be able to get clarity and direction around where you want your business to go - having an understanding within your own team of what that looks like - and putting in place the steps to ensure your goals are more achievable,” Kim says.


Having goals clearly articulated and written into an implementation plan – with timeframes and costings – helps to keep the farm business moving in the right direction.


Kim and her siblings have used these steps themselves to identify their business goals, and it has enabled them to act decisively when opportunities arose.


“We were in need of a turnout block,” Kim says.


“We had heifers on agistment in all directions, and quite short-term in some cases.


“When a neighbour approached us about a property purchase, it was really easy for us to make that decision, because we’d discussed it six and 12 months previously that this was what we wanted to do.


“It was part of our plan. Then we were able to action it really quick, so there were no unnecessary delays.”


Kim acknowledges there is room for improving the way the trio work together.


“As a business, we do our yearly budgets, but we don’t track it monthly as much as we should,” she says.


“Trudy is really good at keeping on top of the accounts and recording the inputs and outputs for the business.


“We’ve invested in a software program that enables us to track really clearly if we are over or under budget; to compare our accounts in real time.


“We need to do that better, which means better communication between all the partners.”


Kim’s role at GippsDairy will see her continuing to support dairy farmers in a new one-to-one format to help identify the programs and courses that can help them in their businesses.

“A new format gets underway in August,” Kim says.

“Working with consultants, we can help farmers build an even better understanding of their farm’s potential to create income and offset input costs.”


Kim says that it’s important for farmers to know their figures and all the costings involved in a dairy farm.


“Knowing your numbers and being able to move that gauge a little bit – even being able to shift 50 per cent of your costs by 10-20 per cent – means you’re making a big difference towards operating a profitable business,” she says.


“The outcome from this program is about knowing the levers to pull and still have a really good turnover.”


For support with your farm business management needs, contact Kim Price on 0456 657 162 or email kimberley@gippsdairy.com.au or visit Enhancing Farm Business Management | Dairy Australia to find out more.

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