Some farmers seek independent specialist agronomic advice from Dodgshun Medlin’s agricultural team – a unit that during a period of 10 years transformed the Mallee from a dustbowl into a productive and sustainable winter-cropping region. And now supports game–changing innovation across a far greater geographic spread.
Others go it alone on the pure agronomy side, but employ a variety of our financial and business specialists – enabling them to improve their farms as enterprises and grow their wealth, with confidence.
The truly exceptional performers are farmers who see that every element of their farming, enterprise development, and personal worlds are inextricably entwined – that a decision in one area will in some form impact every other. For these people, we assemble teams of agricultural, financial and wealth improvement specialists who work together, under one roof, to optimise the whole.
On the land in cropping and stock for three generations, it was a significant step for the extended Munro family to seek outside agronomic advice. And when they did so – and saw rapid improvement – it also became clear that they were going to need help in treating the farm as a bigger-scale business.
Manangatang grain growers Dianne and Trevor Walters echo the circumstance. For them, the first step was getting advice from specialists who themselves had farms, and were part of our independent agronomic team, rather than chemical resellers with vested interests. They say the flow on into business and wealth services became natural, and valuable extensions.
The Dent family have grown winegrapes since 1970 and when their son Chris concluded his formal education, they supported his decision to leave the farm and pursue a (successful) technical career with some of the big Australian wineries. But ultimately, Chris found he missed the dirt between his toes and has returned, filled with ambitious plans for the family enterprise. This has accelerated a relationship with Dodgshun Medlin that already has spanned going on five decades.
Our Futures program has nothing to do with speculative investment. It’s about every aspect of your future – and it might be worth diverting for a moment here to view the Futures section in the The Way We Work. It’s an eye-opener.
To summarise, it’s a series of steps guided by a moderator that enables you and those around you to look forward with clarity, to agree on a Vision, and to establish what needs to be done at a practical level to reach seemingly unattainable goals – starting now. The head of our Agricultural Services Danny Conlan brought his own farming family to a Futures session and was astonished by what was achieved in less than one day.
On the subject of Futures – in all three of the case studies here, there are succession issues – a subject many families ignore or dance around until there’s a falling out. Just one of the issues is the timing of when the current generation starts to take more of a back seat, and Ian Dodgshun has some observations on this.
Of course every situation is different. For example the Walters family’s two adult daughters have left the farm. So they need to be factored into any inheritance, while Dianne and Trevor keep options open for their grandchildren to return to the land. With sufficient wisdom, particularly from a trusted and experienced third party, early succession planning can satisfy the rights and needs of all.
Our independent team of farm-development specialists work with you to plan from every possible angle – this year, next year and for generations to come. But there is more to successful planning than how you manage your land. It’s also about how you manage your business – and every farm is a business – and your world as a whole. It’s about putting it all together on one page so that you may approach the future with foresight, clarity and confidence.