Dairy farmers in northern Victoria now have access to funding up to $5000, to spend on everything from succession planning, to diversifying and cash flow management.
AgBiz Assist has expanded its services to include the Dedicated Dairy Support (DDS) program, enabling eligible dairy operations in northern Victoria participating in the DDS program to access the funding.
AgBiz Assist is well known and highly regarded within the farming and agricultural sectors for providing free, independent and confidential assistance for more than 30 years.
There is an extensive range of situations covered under this funding.
Farm business specialist and rural financial counsellor Jim Moll said the money could be used by farmers to do the following:
- Engage a dairy or agricultural adviser for specific technical recommendations or financial advice.
- Engage a succession planner to make a start with developing a succession plan for the farm business.
- Engage a farm consultant to develop a business plan with specific recommendations.
The DDS program has already engaged with more than 60 northern Victorian dairy farmers to date.
"The farmers have contacted the program seeking support for either exiting dairying, scaling up their dairy operation, assessing alternative enterprise options or succession planning," Mr Moll said.
"The program has provided many dairy farmers detailed financial assessment of their farm businesses, and has analysed a variety of future farm options and generated profit forecasts.
"These forecasts have helped dairy farmers make their own farm business decisions and have helped shape the future direction of the dairy business."
Mr Moll said understanding their current financial position and future farm viability is a challenge for a lot of farmers.
"It is so important to have a clear understanding of the current farm business situation and farm profitability under future scenarios, so the correct (and most financially viable) decision can be made," he said.
Understanding how to make a start with succession planning, and how to involve and communicate with other family members is always difficult and usually requires a mediator or independent party to be involved.
"Many farmers just dont know where to start," Mr Moll said.
"Succession planning brings many challenges with it, including how the farm business will be profitable in the future, after attempting to meet the interests of parents and children, as well as dealing with transfer of assets, debt, and financial and practical decision-making."
Many farmers will keep putting important decisions off, because they either dont know where to start, or they just aren't sure if the decision is the right one, according to Mr Moll.
"It is important that they seek support from an independent specialist who can help guide them in the right direction or refer them to the most relevant adviser," he said.
"The DDS program has been able to help with this."
Call 1300 834 775 to arrange a face to face, telephone or video meeting with a Dedicated Dairy Support specialist to establish your eligibility.
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The story Extra support for northern Victorian dairy farmers first appeared on Farm Online.