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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
Five three-day interactive workshops supported by AWI have been held across Victoria to provide young farmers with the financial skills to help them manage their farm business now as well as planning for their business into the future. FARM BUSINESS BOOT CAMPS MOTIVATE YOUNG FARMERS The Young Farmer Farm Business Boot Camp workshops were delivered between April and June in Hamilton, Bairnsdale, Benalla, Maryborough and Horsham to a total of 101 young farmers representing 69 farm businesses. The Boot Camps enabled the young producers, who had an average age of 31, to increase their understanding of business risk, and provided them with the skills and knowledge to manage it. It also helped them develop a business plan to grow their business and to have confidence that there is a future in agriculture for them. The workshops – supported by AWI, MLA and Agriculture Victoria – utilised a series of farm case studies as real-life examples. Participants also had ample opportunity to discuss their own individual circumstances with the presenters throughout the workshops. The first day of the Boot Camp provided an introduction to farm business management and set the scene for the two days that followed a fortnight later. Day two covered analysing a farm business, profit map, whole of business performance indicators, a SWOT analysis, evidence-based decision-making and finance. Day three covered planning for profit, risk, succession and pathways to farming for young people. An evening meal allowed young farmers to network and hear from inspiring guest speakers who shared their experiences working in farm businesses. The provision of follow up one-on-one mentoring offered in July provided the opportunity for participants to enhance the skills they developed during the three-day workshop and apply it to their own business. Following the three-day Boot Camp all participants said they were confident about their long-term future in agriculture. The majority (91%) of the young farmers were either operating their own farming business or were from a family farm. One of those from a family farm was Brenton Roberts from Brimpaen in the Wimmera region of western Victoria. He and his father run a sheep and cropping enterprise, which includes a self-replacing Merino flock of about 1,500 ewes. Brenton saw an advert for the Boot Camp at Horsham in the newspaper and decided to go along to help him increase his knowledge about the business side of farming. “My dad has been interested in giving me more responsibility in the running of the property and so I was keen in learning more about the bookwork side of things,” Brenton said. “I hope one day to take over the family business, and attending the workshop has helped the conversation with my dad about our succession planning – it has shown him that I am interested in taking it on. “It was great to attend a workshop with so many young people and discuss the farming issues that are affecting people of our age. “I love the wool industry and think that it has a bright future. Our Merino flock is making good money for us and we’ve shifted the focus of our mixed enterprise more towards sheep.” The program is aimed at graduates from a broad cross section of disciplines who have a background in or connection with the Australian wool industry. The 18-month program starts each year in March and provides the successful applicant with a thorough understanding of the wool supply chain from fibre to fashion. Based primarily at the AWI office in Sydney, the graduate will also be given the opportunity to gain a global exposure to the wool supply chain through two international rotations: three months in China and Hong Kong, and three months in London. Whilst in Sydney, the graduate will gain exposure to the following areas of the business: • Sheep Production • Woolgrower Services • Processing Innovation & Education Extension • Marketing (including Marketing Services, Digital, and Fashion Communications) Applications for the inaugural Graduate Training Program close on 28 September. To apply, please select the AWI Graduate Training Program at www.wool.com/ careers or apply through your Seek or LinkedIn profile. AWI is excited to announce the introduction of an 18-month Graduate Training Program which enables graduates to embark on their career in the Australian wool industry with AWI. AWI WANTS EWE! Young farmers at an AWI-supported Farm Business Boot Camp. ON FARM 33
In the Shops - September 2017