Thanks to funding under the Australian Government’s Reef Trust Phase III —Reef Alliance – ‘Growing a Great Barrier Reef’ project, graziers currently involved in this project were given the opportunity to attend the two day Business Edge business management workshop in Bundaberg run by Bush Agribusiness. The Reef Alliance – ‘Growing a Great Barrier Reef’ project has a strong extension component aimed at providing landholders with training to implement management practices to improve their businesses and water quality.

This MLA Business Edge workshop focuses on assisting graziers to determine if all the family needs and aspirations can be funded by the business, prepare and understand their key financial information on the business, assess and manage agricultural business risk and understand and manage enterprise performance. This included understanding what the key profit drivers of a grazing business are, how to influence them and what effect they have on overall business performance.

The course challenged the graziers to really consider whether their grazing business is providing them with more than just a job. Grazing businesses require a lot of capital and labour; many of which can be considered multi-million dollar enterprises. Graziers had to stop for the two days to assess whether the business is providing sufficient returns given the capital and time invested… or is it just providing them with a job?

Feedback from all the graziers was extremely positive, Leigh-Ann Archer from Biggenden stating, “the course was fantastic with a lot of information to take in. The presenter was really good, and easy to understand. I have made an appointment at the bank to change a few things. At the start of the session I felt a sense of hopelessness, but by the end have a new sense of we can get on top of things”.

Having a good handle on the business and financial management gives a better sense of direction and focus which follows through to the overall sustainable management of their whole grazing enterprise.

Successful grazing businesses are those that are generating sufficient profits to reward their owners for both their capital investment in the business and their efforts in running the business. This puts these businesses in a position to be able to fund growth, debt reduction, retirement and succession. Growing the business skills and financial literacy of your management team is the starting point to improved financial performance. Graziers attending the workshops ranged from having been in Grazing all their lives to some new to the industry. All participants left the workshop feeling a sense of direction and focus, with many taking away new skills and looking to make big and little changes to their businesses to ensure long term sustainability.


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