Collaborative Farming

Author Growing Solutions
Branding Ag Excellence
Video Transcript

New Farming and Management Strategies

As farming practices continue to evolve so do management strategies. Whilst collaboration may not be suitable for everyone some have found that it has multiple benefits. Today, we hear from two partnerships that have ventured into collaborative farming.

The new business that we’ve set up is pretty much a bringing together of two farming families and where the original farming families still continue to own the land and then the new company works that with one entity.

Everything that is spent to run the farm is 50/50. We lease the farms, so in other words the new identity If I own 10,000 I get to lease 10,000. If Dean owns 6,000 he gets a lease for 6,000. So, I have more land so I get more lease but the actual expenditure is 50-50 and the profit is 50-50. The benefit for me is that with a property of 6- 7,000 acres of country having enough work to have a full time employee where we can actually share employees much better utilize that much better.

Another person in the business to discuss business issues, and problems that arise. Being able to better utilise plant and equipment, having a bit more flexibility like if I’m away for one thing or another, that I know that there’s someone else in the business still back there looking after that part of it.

Farming is a Business

Farming is just a business. It’s no different than – anyone else- if you’re going into a partnership with a toy store or a bicycle shop or whatever it may be. It’s just a farming enterprise and you’re going into a partnership with it. The moment you go in to to see a solicitor they explain how to put it all together, things become much clearer.

Challenges of Collaborative Farming

One of the The biggest hurdle, I suppose, is stepping away from being your own boss and doing in your own way, and then looking at bringing another partner in and saying OK, you know, some things I have to change, but it’s gonna be a change for the benefit of all of the individuals involved. Our collaborative farming venture that we created in 2009 and really it’s two family farms that have come together.

We set up a new company called Bulla Bulla and effectively re-leased our property to Bulla Bulla. Basically we separated land ownership from operations withing the business, so we actually receive the return in 3 different ways in this business. (a) we receive a return from the land (b) we receive hopefully a return on our investment in the operation side of the business and (c) we receive a wage.

And that wage is a commercial wage, basically for what we actually do within the business.

Improved Financial Return and Flexibility

The major benefits, there’s are always a number of ones really I see. I think for certain like improved  financial returns and that is without a doubt certainly fantastic, you know what we were doing before. And lifestyle way, being able to  get away from the farm for whole days, and know that you don’t have to worry, everything is happening when you’re not there.

We have one big business which is set up to maximize efficiency and maximize profitability

Exploring two different models of collaborative farming, we talk with John Gladigau & Robin Schaefer, and Adrian Gava & Dean Wormald about their experiences.

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