Some interesting research to emerge from the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) shows that the top-performing farmers place family, and the way of life that farming provides, firmly first.
While profitability was critical, says the RMPP findings, it was ultimately a means of allowing high performers to provide opportunities for their families and live the farming way of life,.
B+LNZ Economic Service data shows high performing farmers are achieving profitability of more than $650 per hectare. The very top performers can achieve more than $1,000 per hectare, season permitting.
A frequent question to B+LNZ was ‘what do these farmers do differently?’ and it was one of the first questions put to the RMPP, which commissioned research into what makes farmers tick.
After interviewing 1,000 Kiwi sheep and beef farmers, the findings revealed some common noteworthy themes among the high performers.
Family and profit drivers were followed by a range of other factors, including the challenge of running an efficient operation, a passion for the industry and the people they formed long-term relationships with.
Having a deep confidence in the long-term sustainability of sheep and beef farming in New Zealand and their own chance to farm well also gave these farmers more confidence to forge ahead.
The high performers also all focused on the fundamentals of farming and running simple, efficient systems. They had an unrelenting commitment to observation and paying attention to detail. Through benchmarking and record keeping, they were ardent planners and measurers of performance, with an appetite for experimenting with new ideas and a deep understanding of how other people could help improve their performance, including other farmers, technical experts, rural professionals, staff, suppliers of services and other business people.