Sunday, 27 September 2015 07:33

Helping farmers tackle the financial void

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Farmers are being urged to speak courageously about the reality of their financial problems.

While most challenges facing the dairy industry are outside farmers’ control, Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) says farmers can act to minimise harm to their businesses.

DWN will run free ‘Tracking the cash’ workshops nationwide in October, November and December, says project manager Annabel Craw.

“Aside from strengthening the financial skills of dairy farmers… the workshops are to give farmers confidence and knowledge so they can speak courageously with business partners, professional advisors, family members and others. That might mean taking an idea to them or asking for help.

“The workshops will help farmers recognise that the better informed they are about their business situations, and the more robust their decision making processes, the more likely they will be to minimise disruption and build stronger businesses.”

DWN members Fiona Black and Rebecca Warburton will speak at 19 locations. Participants will gain understanding about:

  • proactively tracking the cash in their business
  • financial effects of the current milk price levels on their profitability and financial position in the short and medium term
  • the need to seek up-to-date information on cashflow and how to use this for informed and timely decisions.

In a farm case study, a cashflow review will show a ‘cash track’ and the implications any variances have on cash position and the farm system.

Participants will see how much of the cashflow review process they are currently implementing and will identify ways to adapting this process to their businesses.

Says Craw, “Though the workshops are in late spring-early summer they will show it’s never too late to benefit from looking at how a business is tracking with income and expenses, and reviewing what is going well and what needs to change.

“Financial pressure is insidious,” says presenter Rebecca Warburton. “But by getting numbers out of your head and onto paper the pressure can be contained.

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