With the announcement of a drop in Fonterra’s forecast milk solid payout, there’s an urgent need for farmers to review and revise budgets and to monitor cashflow going forward, to ensure debt levels don’t rise unnecessarily. Agribusiness management training is one way that farmers can address these issues and apply better management practices to their businesses.
As farm budgets come under scrutiny, farmers may need to cut back on spending or look at increasing their milk production and improve on-farm performance, to offset the lower payout.
Primary ITO’s Diploma in Agribusiness Management supports farmers to hone their business management skills so they can manage risks like a volatile payout and take control of their business. Key learning areas such as Business and Finance, where students learn how to develop and monitor financial plans, monitor on-farm performance against objectives, and develop a budget to share with their bank manager or accountant, are all directly applicable to the farmer’s own business.
Cath Blake, Manager of Dairy Training Limited, says “Good cashflow budget development and implementation are core parts of successful and profitable business performance. The skills farmers gain by completing the Diploma in Agribusiness really assist in managing financial risk such as the drop in payout this season. This financial capability helps farmers to look to the future goals of the business and gives long term confidence that the dairy industry is a great business to be in.”
The cost of human resources can also be a point of contention when budgets are tightened. Staff are often let go of or professional development and training costs are slashed at times of reining in expenses.
Mark Paine, DairyNZ strategy and investment leader (people and business) says “Recruiting the right staff and keeping staff motivated can mean staff turnover is reduced. The cost of staff turnover to the dairy industry is around $300 million per year. If we can hold onto our good staff, this in turn can lead to better business performance.”
The Diploma in Agribusiness Management includes human resource management as a key learning area, and supports farmers to build productive farm teams. Farmers are given the tools to recruit, select and induct staff, and are taught how to build good working relationships and assess performance.
The Agribusiness Diploma is a collaborative project between Primary ITO, DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and HortNZ, which was developed in response to improving agribusiness skills, and identifying that management capability is a key factor in the success of agribusinesses. The Diploma is open to farmers as well as horticulturalists and agribusiness operators. To speak to a Primary ITO training adviser about Agribusiness Diploma courses starting in your area, call 0800 20 80 20 or visit www.primaryito.ac.nz/diploma for more information.