Dairy Australia is rolling-out a new farm business management initiative called ‘Our Farm, Our Plan’, which is designed to help farmers identify long term goals, improve business performance and manage volatility.
Our Farm, Our Plan uses a simple process involving all key decision makers in a farm business to identify how a farm is currently performing and the steps needed to achieve long term goals.
Dairy Australia Managing Director David Nation said: “Pricing and climate volatility in recent years have increased the uncertainty and risk of dairy farming. It is evident that farms with business plans in place are better able to navigate these challenges, as well as take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
"Many dairy farm businesses are run on a huge amount of accumulated knowledge. Our Farm, Our Plan provides a simple process which involves all key decision makers in the farm to agree a vision for the business and prioritise areas for improvement, to share the plan easily with other people and to track progress.
“Action to build farm business skills and improve profitability is a key objective of the Australian Dairy Plan and Our Farm, Our Plan provides an easy to use resource for farms to identify and achieve their strategic long term goals, as well as better manage risk.”
Our Farm, Our Plan was developed by Dairy Australia, with support from Gardiner Dairy Foundation and DairyNZ. It uses a three step planning process commencing with a Farm Fitness Checklist, which focuses on a farm’s current performance and opportunities for improvement. A QuickPlan allows key decision makers to agree long term goals for the business and forms the basis of a Plan on a Page, which summarises actions required to achieve these goals. The plan can be easily shared with all employees as well as other important stakeholders like financial advisers and banks. It can also be used to track progress.
Our Farm, Our Plan will be delivered through group workshops around the country organized by Dairy Australia’s eight Regional Development Programs (RDPs). These workshops can be organized for existing groups like local dairy farmer discussion groups, with follow-up 1:1 consultations included over 12 months as part of the program.
Dairy Australia’s Farm Performance Lead, Neil Webster, said: “Long term goal setting and business planning have never been more important for Australia’s dairy farms. Everyone has plans in their head – getting them down on a page means they’re understood and owned by the key people on the farm. This helps everyone in the team to be on the same page with a clear plan that can be shared, communicated and measured. We hope all farms will give it a go.”
More information is available via RDPs and on our page at dairyaustralia.com.au/OFOP.
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