Financial knowledge to help farmers

Published: Wed 16 Sep 2015 03:11 PM
Financial knowledge to help farmers have courageous conversations
While the challenging times being faced by the dairy industry are largely outside farmers’ control, Dairy Women’s Network wants to remind farmers there are things they can do to empower themselves to minimise the negative impact on their businesses.
This includes having courageous conversations about the reality of their financial situations.
The Network is running free ‘Tracking the cash’ Dairy Modules throughout the country during October, November and December.
“Aside from strengthening the financial skills of dairy farmers to minimise the impact of tough times in the current season and beyond, a significant part of what the workshop aims to achieve is providing confidence and knowledge to farmers so they can have those courageous conversations with their business partners, industry professional advisors, family members etc.,” said project manager Annabel Craw.
“Whether that’s taking an idea to them, or asking for help.
“DWN knows how stressful the current economic situation is for dairy farmers, but these workshops will help them recognise that the more well informed they are about their business situations, and the more robust decision-making processes they put in place, the better chance farmers have of minimising disruption and building stronger businesses.”
Presented by DWN members Fiona Black and Rebecca Warburton in 19 locations throughout the country, the workshops are targeted at farmers who want to further develop or reinforce their financial skills.
The main aims of the workshop are to:
• Increase participants’ understanding of what it means to proactively track the cash for a dairy farm business
• Raise awareness of the financial impact the current milk price levels will have to the profitability and financial position of their business in the short and medium term
• Motivate people to engage more actively in seeking the most up-to-date information for their cash flow and using this to make informed and timely decisions for their business
Craw said through the use of a farm case study participants will carry out the cash flow review process to track the cash and understand the implications variances have to the cash position and farm system.
Participants will assess how much of the cash flow review process they currently implement and identify ways of adopting this process to their business
“Although the workshops are being run in late spring and early summer, they will illustrate to participants that it’s never too late to see benefits for yourself and your business by spending time looking at how the business is tracking with income and expenses and reviewing what is going well and what needs to change,” said Craw.
“One of the valuable learnings the workshops will provide to participants is that by initiating or reinforcing what they have learnt and putting it back into their business, they will get satisfaction from knowing they are doing the absolute best they can do in the tough environment for themselves and their families, and ultimately participants will be stronger people and have more resilient enterprises,” said Craw.
“Financial pressure is very insidious, yet by getting the numbers out of your head and onto paper, the pressure can be contained,” said presenter Rebecca Warburton.
“Getting closer to your numbers reduces financial pressure, however I often see people avoiding their finances in an effort to remove the stress. Avoidance does not work and often leads to more pressure with fewer choices - not a position I would like to see anyone in.”
The project team responsible for developing and delivering these workshops comprises Craw, Black and Warburton, as well as DWN’s partners Carolyn Bushell from Dairy NZ, Ian Tarbotton of Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Roger Tomlin and from ASB.
For more information or to register, visit

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