Dairy Australia outlines the planning process for the future of a farming business can be a daunting process but it can be made easier for dairy farmers with some useful information and tools in a new section on The People in Dairy website.
Online PR News – 15-March-2012 – – Dairy Australia’s The People in Dairy program manager, Dr Pauline Brightling said process of planning for the future involved complex financial, legal and operational issues.
A long term plan for a dairy business needs to address the development of the farm’s resources, its physical performance, the changing skills needed by the people working on the farm, business and financial arrangements and eventually planning for retirement and the transfer of assets.
“For most dairy farm businesses, transferring both the day-to-day business management role and asset ownership is at the heart of planning for the future. But there are no recipes that will suit every dairy business, or the people in it,” Dr Brightling said.
Getting the process started involves open discussions between those involved on the farm and family members. It is important to involve all stakeholders in the decision-making process.
“Discussions may include business owners, family members who are involved in the daily operations of the business, off-farm family members, employees or people who have a business connection such as lessees, share-farmers or management employees,” she said.
A good place to start is with goal setting. The business needs to have goals that can be achieved by the people involved with the farm; but the business also needs to support its people in achieving their personal goals.
“Once the goals have been set and you know where the business is heading, the next step is to look at the skills needed in the future and the training and development needs of the people involved with the farm,” Dr Brightling said.
Planning for the future takes time, and it may help to seek outside help at certain stages of the process. Advice may be sought from a farm consultant, accountant, financial planner, legal advisor and bank or fund manager. Many businesses find a meeting facilitator helpful.
The People in Dairy is one of the many examples of the dairy service levy at work. Farmers receive a benefit of $3 for every $1 invested by Dairy Australia on their behalf.
Dairy Australia is the national services body for dairy farmers and the industry. Their role is to help farmers adapt to a changing operating environment, and achieve a profitable, sustainable dairy industry.
For more information on this and other levy investments visit www.thepeopleindairy.org.au or phone (03) 9620 7283.