Busi­ness savvy farm­ers can get ahead

South Waikato News - - Agribusiness - GAYNOR TIER­NEY

If I could bot­tle the at­ti­tude and pos­i­tiv­ity of some of the farm­ing stu­dents who have re­ceived a Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Schol­ar­ship for study in agribusi­ness, I truly would.

They are an amaz­ing group of farm­ers who have taken the op­por­tu­nity to build their knowl­edge about their busi­ness and their huge suc­cess in our in­dus­try is tes­ta­ment to this.

We end­lessly hear of the lack of op­por­tu­ni­ties in our dairy in­dus­try and the in­abil­ity of farm­ers to move through the sys­tem to­wards farm own­er­ship.

How­ever, I be­lieve it is still very much achiev­able as demon­strated by farm­ers that I see do­ing it. I also see their will­ing­ness to share their key tips for get­ting through the sys­tem and achiev­ing their goals.

Achiev­ing th­ese goals is not as hard as some think. It’s all about ini­tia­tive.

How many of us know our re­turn on in­vest­ment, cash sur­plus and op­er­at­ing profit? Not many I am afraid to say and we saw this in the af­ter­math of the down­turn in milk price over the past few years.

The volatile en­vi­ron­ment we farm in now is here to stay so know­ing how to main­tain a cash sur­plus and to sur­vive is just as im­por­tant as know­ing what to do when you have a cash sur­plus and where the best re­turn is for your hard-earned cash.

In my mind, in­creas­ing fi­nan­cial knowl­edge is the most im­por­tant fac­tor hold­ing back those in our in­dus­try from pro­gress­ing through the path­ways they want to get to their end goal.

The answers are all around us, funded by Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, Dairynz, the Dairy Women’s Net­work, Pri­mary ITO and oth­ers. There are so many cour­ses avail­able, from one day work­shops through to a part-time di­ploma.

Once you start on the track of en­light­en­ment around un­der­stand­ing your fi­nances and in turn start to grow your eq­uity you will never look back.

Even­tu­ally it be­comes part of ev­ery­day life and as your fi­nan­cial sav­ings be­come clearer it can ac­tu­ally be­come ex­cit­ing. You be­gin to run your farm busi­ness, not the other way around.

Talk to any of the above or­gan­i­sa­tions and the sky will be the limit.

Gaynor Tier­ney is Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers dairy vicechair­woman.

MARK TAY­LOR

Farm own­er­ship is still achiev­able for those farm­ers who are busi­ness savvy, Gaynor Tier­ney says.

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