Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s recently launched Farm Plan is getting the thumbs up from farmers who have attended Farm Planning workshops and made a start on this living process.
B+LNZ’s Leader- Farm Planning, Ron Pellow, says feedback from workshops held since the release of the Farm Plan has been overwhelmingly positive, with farmers reporting that they had had learnt some valuable tools and assessments to apply on farm, they would recommend the workshop to others and that it was a good use of their time.
“Many farmers also reported they were confident they would be able to document most of their farm environment plan following the first workshop” says Ron.
“This was highly reassuring as plans are most effective when developed on farm – by the farmer or farm team.”
For Southland farmer Darry Wing, it was the first Farm Plan workshop of any type he had attended, and he said it was simple and straight to the point and was the start of what will be an on-going process.
“You’ve got to start somewhere,” he says.
Wairarapa farmer Robyn Hickson says she and her husband found the Farm Planning workshop to be really useful for putting all of their information together. Originally from Australia, they have been farming their property for two years and while they have carried out a lot of environmental work, they didn’t know how to bring it all together.
Robyn says the Farm Plan will help them to do that.
“It works so well. Each part is easy to access and it is full of great information and material, including templates, to help build your own farm plan.”
She says by breaking the environment section into different chapters, such as soil, water, climate change, it made it is easy to address each one.
Robyn felt everyone who attended the workshop was enthusiastic about the process and would have taken something useful away from it.
Ron says Farm Planning has always been part of good farm practice.
“As part of equipping farmers to meet current and future opportunities, B+LNZ’s vision is for every commercial farm to have a recorded active Farm Plan by the end of 2025.”
Rather than being a one-off exercise, Ron says recorded, active Farm Plans should guide on-farm decision making, documenting risks and action plans that lead to improved economic resilience and overall business performance.
“It is a document that will tell a farmers’ story, and can help validate providence in the market place.”
B+LNZ’s Farm Plan starts by documenting the overall farm vision and available resources. Under this framework farmers can include a range of modules covering topics like the environment, biosecurity, people management, animal welfare and health and safety. Each module enables farmers to identify risks, mitigation plans, progress to date and develop action plans.
Workshops will support farmers at each stage of their Farm Plan process, and templates will shortly also be available on-line for farmers who wish to work through them in their own time.
For further information on B+LNZ’s Farm Plan go to https://beeflambnz.com/farmplan
Look on B+LNZ’s event page for Farm Planning workshops in your area.