Farm Business Management Training

Farm business training and extension for farmers and service providers is delivered in regions through Dairy Australia's regional teams . This training includes Farm Business Fundamentals and Dairy Farm Business Analysis (DairyBase).

Farm Business Fundamentals

The Farm Business Fundamentals training course for groups that is about getting your business information organised. It runs over two to three days and focuses on farm financial management, providing the skills and knowledge to pull together annual farm financial numbers. It also covers budgeting, compliance and farm financial systems. It introduces the Dairy Standard Chart of Accounts and the Dairy Cash Management Planner.

Dairy Farm Business Analysis (DairyBase)

Dairy Farm Business Analysis is a three-day course which assists farmers and their advisers to better understand and analyse farm business performance. It uses DairyBase and covers the importance of getting annual farm physical and financial numbers right, how to interpret farm performance and how to understand cash, profit and wealth for a dairy farm business using DairyBase reports. This course is recommended for all dairy farmers and their advisers.

Our Farm, Our Plan

Our Farm, Our Plan is a new program developed by Dairy Australia with support from the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and DairyNZ. It is designed to equip farmers to clarify their long term goals, identify the actions needed and to manage uncertainty and risk. One-to-one support is provided to farmers over 12 months to help make planning and review a normal part of doing business.

Having a clear view of long term business and personal goals helps to make better decisions, especially the big decisions. Our Farm, Our Plan keeps it simple and takes long term plans and ideas from dairy farmers' heads and gets them down on one page. The ‘Plan on a Page’ requires agreement, is able to be shared and enables farmers to track their progress.

Business Governance and Investment

This two-day workshop focuses on strategic planning, business structure and having what it takes to operate an efficient and 'investment ready' farm business. Participants are encouraged to work 'above the line' and to think strategically about their business goals.

Governance applies to all farming businesses regardless of size, structure or the stage of development. It clarifies roles and responsibilities, direction, purpose and enables improved, informed decision making.

As businesses grow or change - and more people become involved - governance needs to address more complex issues. Understanding governance empowers owners, manager and directors to make better decisions, using frameworks and approaches to direct where the business is heading.

‘Taking your business to the next level’ business governance and investors in dairy farming is a two day, interactive workshop focused on strategic business planning and decision making.

The workshop explores these key areas:

  • Investigating practical ways to implement effective business governance principles into your business irrespective of ownership structure; family-owned, equity partnership, joint venture or corporate ownership.
  • Understanding the difference between operational and strategic thinking and how to implement strategic planning within your business including taking your team on the journey.
  • The importance for cultural alignment between staff and business owners and how to achieve it.
  • What it means for a business to introduce an investor. How does this compare to growing a business using bank finance?
  • Options for family businesses to grow their wealth and transition their assets to their children.
  • Risk management and understanding elements of different business structures including their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Enabling and valuing employees - including them on the journey with owners and investors.

Previous participants recommend bringing along others from the business team and even your farm advisor. They can assist with implementing and applying the tools and learnings from the workshop.

For more information contact Bernie Baxter

Farm Business Workshops

Farm Business Workshop modules are available for delivery with groups, including discussion groups. These will be rolled out in regions by regional teams, supported by funding to access providers who are best placed to deliver. Workshops include:

  • Meet the bank
  • The dairy office
  • Cost of production

Contact our regional teams to find out what programs are available in your region.

Dairy management – Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness

As dairy farm businesses become increasingly dynamic, the dairy industry requires highly capable people to be farm managers of the future. Experts are needed in strategic thinking, critical analysis, decision making, problem solving, human resource management and effective communication.

The Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness, with a Specialisation in Dairy Management, was developed in partnership with University of Tasmania. This specialisation is designed to equip current and future dairy farm managers with the capabilities required to run profitable and sustainable farm businesses. A hands-on course that provides practical, contemporary content with academic insights allows participants to apply theory to practice on an existing farm business from day one.

To find out more, visit Agribusiness | Study at the University of Tasmania.

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