Plan­ning boost for farm­ing part­ners

Bush Telegraph - - Focus On Farming -

Tararua and South­ern Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farm­ing cou­ples are among the first in the coun­try to be of­fered a new pro­gramme to help them plan for long-term busi­ness suc­cess, de­vel­oped in re­sponse to strong in­dus­try de­mand.

Launched re­cently, the pro­gramme equips farm­ing part­ners to de­cide their busi­ness and fam­ily goals to­gether, then use that to plan for, and lead, their teams.

Funded by the Red Meat Profit Part­ner­ship (RMPP) PGP pro­gramme, Fu­ture Fo­cus, is ini­tially be­ing of­fered in seven ru­ral cen­tres, in­volv­ing more than 100 par­tic­i­pants. De­signed and de­liv­ered by the AgriWomen’s De­vel­op­ment Trust (AWDT), each two-day pro­gramme will be held over two months.

Fu­ture Fo­cus builds on AWDT’s Un­der­stand­ing Your Farm­ing Busi­ness (UYFB) course, also funded by RMPP, which has been com­pleted by more than 800 women since 2014.

It fol­lows a pi­lot last year with 16 farm­ing cou­ples and re­search into what is needed to lift farm per­for­mance.

AWDT ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lindy Nel­son said the new pro­gramme recog­nises that joint plan­ning and de­ci­sion mak­ing is vi­tal to busi­ness suc­cess.

“There is plenty of re­search, in­clud­ing our own, show­ing farm­ing busi­nesses per­form bet­ter when the busi­ness as­pi­ra­tions of both part­ners are agreed and aligned. We also know that many cou­ples have never had the op­por­tu­nity to go through a process where they look to a far hori­zon, de­cide to­gether what this should look like and how they will get there.”

Mrs Nel­son said the cou­ples will con­sider how the vi­tal el­e­ments of peo­ple, the en­vi­ron­ment and prof­itabil­ity will fit into the fu­ture suc­cess of their busi­nesses, against the back­ground of rapid change be­ing faced by the red meat sec­tor.

RMPP Chair­man Mal­colm Bai­ley said RMPP’s suc­cess­ful UYFB cour­ses had cre­ated strong in­ter­est from farm­ers for other cour­ses to en­able them to take time out with part­ners and busi­ness de­ci­sion-mak­ers to de­velop their busi­ness, in­stead of only work­ing in their busi­ness.

Course par­tic­i­pants will de­velop a busi­ness vi­sion and goals, then an ac­tion plan with spe­cific results to be achieved.

They will learn how to keep their plan on track, how to over­come ob­sta­cles and how to en­gage and lead the wider farm­ing team — in­clud­ing staff, bankers and ad­vi­sors.

Start­ing in May and June, Fu­ture Fo­cus will be held in Dan­nevirke, Whanganui, Te Ku¯ iti, Whanga¯ rei, Gore, O¯ amaru and Am­ber­ley.

More in­for­ma­tion is at www.awdt.org.nz

Agri-Women’s De­vel­op­ment Trust ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and Al­fred­ton farmer Lindy Nel­son.

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