Spotlight On High Performance Farming


This month, Yarrawonga and Bendigo will each host a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Farm Business Update for Victorian grain growers interested in high performance farms.

GRDC Farm Business Updates help people working in and advising grain-growing businesses to understand best practices for farm business management and implement changes to support the enduring profitability of those businesses.

The upcoming Farm Business Updates in Yarrawonga (18 June) and Bendigo (19 June) (Bendigo) will cover tailoring a farm business strategy; carbon emissions strategies; personal development related to communication and delegation; innovative employee rewards; the search for above average profit; and proactive procurement practices.

Rutherglen grower and GRDC Southern Panel chair Andrew Russell says the Updates are a great chance for growers – and their staff, advisers and business partners – to learn from a mix of experts and each other.

Image of GRDC Southern Panel chair Andrew Russell.

Rutherglen grain grower and GRDC Southern Panel chair Andrew Russell attends the Farm Business Updates every year and looks forward to networking and learning with growers and other professional experts. Photo: AgCommunicators

“I look forward to attending Farm Business Updates every year, and this year we have an excellent lineup,” says Mr Russell.

“The Updates provide an excellent networking opportunity and bring a range of professional experts to the regions to share innovative business ideas and practices with growers.”

“Having both growers and other experts in the one room also allows us to explore and discuss different and practical ways to implement new ideas and solve problems – whether it is how to retain or manage staff, or how to focus our business strategies.

“This year, I’m particularly looking forward to Claudia Mitchell speaking on effective time management as that is definitely something I need to upskill on, plus Reanna Brown on preparing for opportunities.”

The Farm Business Updates aim to increase awareness of key farm business decisions affecting profit and risk, and to help attendees identify steps to improve their farm business management.

Since 2020, more than 7000 people have attended a Farm Business Update across Australia, with topics chosen in consultation with local growers to ensure their timeliness and relevance.

This year’s keynote speaker Reanna Browne is set to explore how thinking differently about the future can help people to act differently in the present.

An image of this year's keynote speaker Reanna Browne.

The 2024 Victorian Farm Business Update keynote speaker Reanna Browne will help growers think about the future differently to help them more easily implement practice change in the present to influence the future. Photo: Work Futures

“The real acupuncture point about my work is to challenge how people think about the future in the first place,” says Ms Browne.

“When we change how we think about the future, we can see new possibilities to act in the present and thereafter influence our farming futures.

“The future is shaped by our actions – and inactions – in the present.”

She adds that most people don’t want to think about the future – which is really just code for change – because it feels too big, making it too difficult to act now.

“I think it’s really important to have conversations about the future in a practical way – breaking it down in terms of what can we do come Monday – what can we do to apply these insights about change, and how does it help us on the farm today?” she added.

During her Farm Business Update presentation, Ms Browne will share the thinking and tools that can be used to help identify, prepare for and leverage opportunities to benefit farm business management today.

The full line-up of topics and speakers includes:

  • Identify, prepare for and leverage opportunities

    Reanna Browne, Work Futures

  • Investigate, understand, plan – emissions profiles for grain producers

    Jemma Pearl and Dale Boyd, Agriculture Victoria

  • Positive, productive communication language and techniques

    Dr Jane Foster, Emotional Resilience

  • Delegation do’s – fore effectively managing your time

    Claudia Mitchell, The Capacity Co

  • Innovative rewards for employees that make cents
  • The future of grain production – in search of sustainable above average profit

    Eric Nankivell and Ben Percy, Farmanco

  • Proactive procurement practices – managing cost and risk

    Rob Dawes, AgProcure

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