Being a focus farm a winner

Focus Farm involvement helps drive profit and productivity

FOCUS: Focus Farm operator, Karen Angus, Ondoit, said their business was more productive and profitable as a result of taking part in the project.

FOCUS: Focus Farm operator, Karen Angus, Ondoit, said their business was more productive and profitable as a result of taking part in the project.


WestVic Dairy Focus Farms project delivers 'real farm, real decisions' extension format.


Dairy farmers looking to take their business to the next level are invited to consider participating in WestVic Dairy's Focus Farm project.

Expressions of interest to participate in this two-year program are currently open.

The successful farm business will be given access to a team of experienced farmers and service providers, led by an expert farm consultant, to help achieve its goals.

The Focus Farm initiative has become a flagship project in western Victoria, with multiple farmers benefiting from taking part, and many more learning from this 'real farm, real decisions' extension format.

The successful business hand picks its support group, to ensure it includes people whose opinions are trusted and respected. The group meet eight times a year to discuss opportunities available to the Focus Farm over the coming months. This presents the farmer with several detailed and fully costed options to consider.

Dale and Karen Angus farm at Ondit, they have been Focus Farmers for 18 months.

"Being involved in the project has been a great benefit to our business. We have enjoyed working with the support group and have embraced new ideas after discussing the options with them," Mrs Angus said.

"More importantly, our business is more productive and profitable as a result of taking part."

Focus Farms hold three open days over the two-year period. These days allow those in the industry to learn from the farm's progress - as well as hear from experts on current local topics.

Previous and current Focus Farmers have used the program to help them with specific issues they face, such as growing more feed, improving herd fertility, incorporating technology and workforce planning.

Focus Farms play a pivotal role in WestVic Dairy's commitment to provide relevant, timely and accurate extension services to local farmers.

Regional Manager, Lindsay Ferguson said the Focus Farm program aimed to ensure farmers were fully informed when making business decisions.

"While dairy farmers are used to making complex decisions, there is an increasing level of volatility in the industry," he said.

"Whether that volatility is due to markets, input costs or seasonal conditions, having all relevant information to hand allows farmers to be more confident in the decisions they make.

"We would like to hear from farm businesses keen to explore ways of thriving in the dairy industry - whether you are a new entrant, or your family has been farming for generations.

"It may be that you have a particular story to tell, such as changing farming systems or succession planning. Alternatively, if you know a farm you believe suitable, please encourage them to apply," Mr Ferguson said.

Interested farmers should contact WestVic Dairy on 5557 1000.


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