Press Release Building Financial Capacity Workshop 2011
Dairy farmers build their financial capabilities
Thirty people attended the recent Building Financial Capacity Forum held in Finley to hear from leading consultants, financiers and accountants on options available to operate and finance a dairy business.The day also included a presentation on “How I made dairy farming work for my family” and the day concluded with a question and answer session.
The day was an initiative of the Riverina Young Dairy Development group, was funded by a FRRR/ANZ Seeds for Renewal program grant and was facilitated by Murray Dairy.
Andrew Malcolm,ANZ Agribusiness Manager, Deniliquin discussed loan products, lending criteria, security and risk. He also highlighted the importance of having a good relationship with your bank manager.
“Opportunity”, “Cash is king” and “cows are a great asset” were the key messages Rod Banks of Cowbank delivered to the forum. Rod noted with the relative stable milk price, grain price and the availability of irrigation water it is a time of great opportunity to grow lots of grass. Direct grazing of grass equals low cost milk production. This was also demonstrated later in the day by Cam Smith of Farmanco by using the Murray Dairy Financial Business Tool which highlighted the change in farm profitability by grazing home grown fodder compared to previous years of buying in fodder.
Rod Banks commented the “the change in value (of cows) is very similar to land values which have grown nominally at 7.6% over 35 years”
Accountant and now full time dairy farmer Alistair Monk presented the group with different business structures that are used by farmers highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each.
“When setting up a business you should consider income tax, asset protection and succession planning” Alistair told the group.
The highlight of the forum was listening to the journey of Steve Griffiths who has made the successful transition of being a coal miner on the South Coast of NSW to now operating a 500 acre dairy farm at Katunga.
Steve and his brother started in the dairy industry in 1988 with a $50,000 deposit on a 94 acre walk in walk out farm at Congupna and a truck full of stud cows.
Steve and his wife Sharyn have never been afraid of taking risk and making hard decisions and often decisions that were outside the square at the time with the lifelong goal of wanting to be a dairy farmer.
“Believe in yourself and work hard” “Surround yourself with positive people” ”get good advice and make your own decisions” was the advice Steve passed on to the forum.
“We had some excellent feedback from the forum participants, which was largely under thirty years of age. “Murray Dairy CEO Sarah Parker said. Sarah also commented “If there is enough demand in other areas of the Murray Dairy region we will organise a similar day for our farmers” “I would ncourage anyone interested to ring the Murray Dairy YDDP coordinator Melissa Dorsett on 0417988000” Sarah said