A NATIONWIDE push for dairy farmers to draw up individual plans is being launched this week.
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John Brumby announced the Australian Dairy Plan at John Verbeten's dairy property at Longwarry. Photo: DANNIKA BONSER

Dairy Australia’s ‘Our Farm, Our Plan’ initiative involves farmers drawing up a ‘plan on a page’ — a one page document plotting out the medium to long term development of each and every farm.

The initative involves a farm fitness checklist — which looks at the current state of the business; a quick plan — which allows farmers and their families to work out long-term goals for the dairy and forms of the basis of the ‘plan on a page.’

Dairy Australia managing director David Nation said pricing and climate volatility in recent years had increased the uncertainty and risk of farming.

“It is evident that farms with business plans in place are better able to navigate these challenges, as well as take advantage of opportunities as they arise,” Mr Nation said.

“Many dairy farm businesses are run on a huge amount of accumulated knowledge. ‘Our Farm, Our Plan’ provides a simple process which involves all key decision makers in the farm to agree a vision for the business and prioritise areas for improvement, to share the plan easily with other people and to track progress.”

Dairy Australia farm performance manager Neil Webster said long term planning was needed in all types of commerce and agriculture was no exception.

“A lot of farmers are very strategic at working season to season or year to year but the Our Farm, Our Plan looks at planning over a longer period. Years rather than seasons,” Mr Webster said.

“Succession planning forms part of the equation, particularly for farmers closer to retirement while the main issue of interest for farmers in their 40s was workplace health.”

A number of workshops will be held across Australia to further explain the initative, with information also available through the Dairy Australia website.

In dairy risk management, one size does not fit all. Throughout recent history, a number of dairy-related risk management programs, some available through private crop insurance providers and others available through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), have been designed to fill gaps in protection against market risk and uncertainty.

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