Advice For 20-Year-Old You

We asked our Farms Advice Instagram community to see what they wanted to know when they were a 20-year-old. We had some great pieces of advice come through our stories:

What are your top priorities

Agribusiness is a very diverse industry. If you are a farmer wanting to get the work that matters most and pays your bills it is important to prioritise what will bring you the most successful in completing your goals. Each of us will have different priorities than others but as long as you are thinking about your own is what matters.

Livestock stud: As a sheep stud it is important to maintain the sheeps welfare by ensuring that they are well fed and are accessing the right nutrients in order to raise quality genetics.

Cropping: Ensuring that you are being as efficient as possible where just two or even one runs would do the job to save on input costs to growing your crop.

Do your best and the rest will follow

With access to more resources than ever before the pressure for us to perform increases as we supply the nation with our produce. As an individual within agriculture it is important to do your best which ever level or sector you are working in. If the hard yards are put into practice early than you will really reap the rewards later on in the piece.

Like anything in business, we have our ups and downs

Agriculture is known to be a tough industry to work in with mostly manual operations within it and combined with the harsh seasons Australia can sometimes provide. It is important to keep an upbeat attitude in order to progress. Everyone has a bad day every once in a while, as we may compete with our own individual struggles it is important to check in with those in your own community. For further details, you can access further information at Beyond Blue if you or someone you know needs a helping hand.

Sometimes it doesn’t rain for a while and you have to be ready for when that time comes

I think this is a vital part of Australian agriculture as we are all working day-to-day wanting to get through to the next when in a difficult situation. As our level of risk is quite high it is an excellent time to plan before disasters happen such as drought, floods or even global epidemics like the corona virus.

There are always good and bad years but make the good count 150% and the bad will be easier

It is easy enough to plan for having the best year but as a business the agribusiness community need to think about the unknowns. “Saving it for a raining day”, except we want to make sure we have the right amount of money available during the tough times to cover your feed for livestock, water for your orchard or for the loss of yield across your cropping enterprise.

Don’t stick to the status quo

This is one of the most important piece of advice that we want to stick to within Farms Advice. In order to stand out you need to do something different from your competitors in order to capture your potential clients and to grow your market share.

As there are a lot of agriculture businesses working within the similar field we had thought we would use our expertise in marketing and finding the opportunities within agribusiness. We like to associate ourselves with agribusiness instead of agriculture so that we can demonstrate that we are all a professionals working in a business world. We need to wear a few hats in order to make our own enterprises within the agricultural sector.

Do the bookwork & see where the money goes by keeping a better diary.

An important reminder for all farmers avoiding the office work. We can all get caught up working outside doing the work that you can see is getting accomplished. If you can control your financial situation it will allow you work on what is more important by analysing what is working and what isn’t

One of the first steps in being a successful farm manager is keeping well-maintained, accurate records, and establishing a sound record-keeping system. Keeping accurate records has its benefits, like helping farmers plan and complete realistic forecasting for the next year.

It may be a requirement: As you look for lenders for a loan for equipment or more acres they may require detailed and well-maintained records of the businesses income and expenditure before giving out loans to an agribusiness. Either way, it’s really good to have this information at the ready.

Better farm planning and forecasting: By keeping your agribusiness office work up to date with your accountant it will help you plan and forecast the performance of your operation. Record-keeping provides valuable information on which methods work and which does not. It enables you to enable you to predict price changes of inputs and produce from expenses and sales kept over previous years.

Track income and expenditure: See your overall revenue for your agribusiness and break down the different areas in order to help you find opportunities within your inputs and outputs. Find out the Return on Investment (ROI) for your different segments. If you are running a mixed enterprise with sheep, cattle, and cover crops you will want to find out the profit margin for each enterprise. If one is underperforming you can see what is causing the problem, is the feed to expensive at the moment or can we find a substitute for the feed? Plan & budget

Better management of a farm: If you are able to get in front of your work that is coming up it will allow you to see where you can better prepare as you will have the data collected from over the years that you will be able to make an informed decision on which genetics is right for your sheep flock or which summer crop to plant in your soils. It is not a one size fit all scenario as we all work with different elements. In the case of livestock, the farm should keep records of bloodlines, pests, disease, feed types, and consumption. These records help to prevent inbreeding, control pests and disease and provide the best feed for optimum performance.

By spending just 10 minutes a day will save you time and money. Don’t leave it to the last moment to make a decision.

Start now, have fun but don’t waste the opportunity to be 10 years ahead

We love this as we live by it too. We don’t know everything about agribusiness but we can help to make it a transparent industry so that everyone can access a wealth of information at their finger tips.

By reading The Lean Startup by Eric Lees I was able to see that by offering a product that is the most basic product stripped down to the very core in order to just function for a certain audience. Once you have the minimal viable product (MVP) you are able to test, test and test. By testing our your own products making agricultural technology. Once you have the MVP you are ready to launch it for the community to use and review it so that you are able to take the positive or negative costs.

Listen to agricultural Podcasts

Listen to farm podcasts and learn some good stuff while working on the land. Check out our new @farmsadvice podcast! Let us know in the comments what your best #FarmsAdvice would be?

This is new for us but as we have been listening to podcasts from 2015 as an excellent medium to consume content that is relevant to our industry and the sectors that are able to help agribusiness. Listen to our new podcast out now, the Farms Advice Agribusiness podcast.

About the Author
Farms Advice - Creating a productive & efficient farming future. All by word of mouth Instagram / Facebook / Twitter Find us here: @farmsadvice

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