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Enterprises for Small Farms

6 May 2021 2:21 PM | Alex James (Administrator)

This workshop was held in Tarago on Sunday 2 May 2021. Our presenters were Ross Kuchel, Agricultural Adviser from South East Local Land Services, Peter and Penny Dagg from Eastern and White Dorpers, Fiona McNeil from Bent Shed Produce and Stephanie Helm from The Vintner’s Daughter.


The topics covered included farm planning, water resources, managing risk, farm business resources, business planning, biosecurity, moving livestock and taking care of your natural assets.

Plan, plan and plan was Ross’s clear message. Knowing your personal values and goals can help you develop the priorities for your land and farm business. Understanding your legal obligations when it comes to managing water, weeds, vegetation and livestock is important. More information about how to do this can be found in the Rural Living Guide and by contacting your nearest Local Land Services Office.

Penny Dagg discussed starting out with livestock, managing a sheep stud, biosecurity and animal health. Penny told us how difficult and expensive it was to buy water and feed during the drought. Penny’s advice is to plan for the extremes and prepare to de-stock if necessary. Importing feed from outside the region can increase the biosecurity risk of getting new weeds that don’t normally grow at your place. Penny’s top tip: don’t be afraid to ask for advice, everyone starting out on the land needs help and support.

Stephanie Helm shared her family’s experience running a small winery and cellar door during COVID-19 and how the crisis led to a decision to start online marketing and to diversify into other farm enterprises to manage risk. Stephanie showed us how it is possible to integrate animals into a horticultural business and reduce chemical use at the same time. Stephanie’s top tips are take the time to create a business plan, develop your business skills and learn how to use social media.

Fiona McNeil’s key point was don’t forget to pay yourself a living wage. For unskilled labour this is a minimum of $25/hour and for skilled labour aim for around $50/hour. The Australian Taxation  Office website can help you work out labour, car and other business expenses.  Fiona discussed the challenge of working full time while juggling a business and how health can change your priorities. Her top tips are to contact the Business Enterprise Centre for support and look out for changes to council zoning that could affect your chosen enterprise.


Resources

Farm Planning Ideas - Local Land Services

Sustainable Farms - Ten Ways to Improve the Natural Assets a farm

Six Maps

National Livestock Identification Scheme

Order of Streams NSW Water

Business Enterprise Centre Queanbeyan

Business Planning Templates

Native Vegetation Planning 

Thank you to our presenters and the Country Women’s Association Tarago Branch for supplying delicious food for this event.

This workshop was made possible with funding from the Australian Government through the National Landcare Program and in-kind support from South East Local Land Services.

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Small Farms Network Capital Region Inc
PO Box 313
Bungendore
NSW 2621

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