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