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Workshop aimed at farmers of the future

Succession is one of the largest risks facing the agri-industry across Australia with experts saying more needs to be done to help families and businesses evolve and ensure plans are in place for generational changeovers.

Local not-for -profit organisation, Far West Young Farmers (FWYF), was founded in 2019 and dedicates its time and work to nurturing future farmers in the western division. They provide training platforms and organise educational programs to enhance both the business and practical skills of the region’s young agriculturalists.

FWYF founding member, Brett Bonselaar, believes a lack of succession planning within a business, particularly those that are entirely family owned and operated, is a ‘pressing matter’ that is under reported and minimally discussed.

To combat this issue on a local scale, the organisation is hosting a day long Succession Workshop in Broken Hill on Thursday October 6.

“Over the past decade, there has been an influx of the next generation moving back to the Broken Hill area, many of whom are working for the family business,” says Mr Bonselaar.

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“We as a committee saw it timely to bring the event to the area, to offer the whole family an opportunity to come and find out some information, if nothing else just to start the conversation at home.”

The workshop is being run by Proagtive, a fee-for-service organisation who assist with strategic planning and succession, specifically in the agricultural sector.

“We are fortunate enough to have Isobel Knight and Jess Cavanagh who both bring a wealth of experience in the industry running the event,” said Mr Bonselaar.

“Some of our FWYF members have already dealt with them on a personal level and have been very impressed by the outcome and information delivered.”

The workshop will delve into the demands of generational change and effective succession planning, which includes the transition of management, leadership and ownership. There will be discussions surrounding ways in which business viability can be balanced with family harmony, with an insightful part of the day dedicated to the understanding of differing personality types and how to best meet the needs of each family member.

Both FWYF and Proagtice acknowledge that not every business is ready to make any definitive plans or set in stone an order of succession for the future. They also know that managing the transition is a daunting task for many.

“With the value of farming business increasing significantly on the back of land prices, it is often difficult to see a fair transition to the next generation whilst offering suitable retirement for the exiting party and still leaving the business viable,” Mr Bonselaar told the Barrier Truth.

The organisations hope the workshops can alleviate some of the future stress by providing the local farming community with access to informative resources and sound advice from leading industry professionals.

Tickets can be purchased by following the link on their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100078304401016 or for further information message the page and a member of their team will get back to you.

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