Extracted from the Farm Tender weekly Newsletter - Sign up and get the email every Wednesday morning before 6 am. www.farmtender.com.au
By Dwain Duxson.
I recently heard one of our Farm Tender sales guys (Shano) say, "you're allowed to make money" to a Farmer customer. I didn't go into the conversation too deep with Shano, but he did say the Farmer was trying to justify having their biggest year yet.
It seems to be a bit of a stigma in Farming that isn't felt in other industries that Farmers or Farm service providers have to put making money (or talking about it) about 3rd or 4th on the list.
And yes, money isn't everything.
Last week, I mentioned that farmers need to be profitable first and foremost. A profitable Farmer will reinvest in their operations and tweak their Farming systems to make them better and hopefully more profitable.
A more desperate Farmer will be less reluctant to improve facilities and will always act in a more traditional way when it comes to their Farming systems and how they go about it.
Businesses and consumers are looking to Farmers to store carbon in their Land and help reduce net ommissions. The Farming sector will be involved in some way, shape or form, but only a profitable Farmer will be able to give up something to potentially gain something else. Eg. Why would I plant a multi-species Crop over a Wheat Crop if there was no nett benefit from a financial perspective? Maybe a profitable Farmer might experiment in such a fashion as the gains might be beneficial further down the track.
It's a long-known fact that if Farmers have money, they will spend it. They will upgrade their infrastructure or Plant to make life easier or become more efficient. Farmers are looking to Automate as much as possible to cut out the physical work side of things. Also, better facilities have a better chance of attracting staff.
A good podcast I listened to the other day outlines how we need to focus on making the operational side of the Farm run more like the Dental business in town or an Accounting firm. Because when we sell or buy a Farm, we are selling or buying the Land and infrastructure, not the business that supported the Land. Anyway, have a listen to the podcast here, it outlines where I am going with this.
No two Farms or Farming businesses are the same, and they have to be run accordingly. Because of that, Farmers are less inclined to work together and tend to be slightly critical of each other. I think to make our industry better, we need to barrack for each other more, help, educate, share successes and failures more.
Janette Barnard, an Ag blogger out of the US writes a good piece each week. In a recent episode, she wrote about how Ag listed companies that report profits (or losses) can lose Farmer customers for the reason "if they are making these huge profits then how much is that profit coming from my business". Take a read of the article here.
Let's get over the stigma that making money in Farming is evil. We need a prosperous Farming industry, it props up communities and even countries (when we rode on the Sheeps' back). Let's look at our Farming neighbours and barrack for them to do well too.
I believe there will be tremendous opportunities in Ag as we advance, more than there has been in the past. If Farms or Farmers are going to prosper and take advantage of this, then we need to drop off a little of that baggage that we sometimes carry around with us.
Shano, you are right. You're allowed to make money....
End of message