Mar 26

FarmLink team grows to staff of 10

Posted by Kylie Dunstan at Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Our FarmLink team has experienced a period of growth, with our full-time staff roster growing to 10, covering a range of activities and responsibilities, from research and extension through to bookkeeping and management of Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre.
The research team has been boosted by the addition of James Holding as Senior Trials Agronomist and Caitlin Langley as Research and Extension Officer – joining Senior Research Officer, Eva Moffitt and Colin Fritsch, Research Officer.
Changes have occurred in our administration team, with Lisa Matthews settling into her role as Officer Manager, joined by Julianne Cole as Bookkeeper/Administration Officer.
Lisa Goesch was farewelled from her role as bookkeeper in late February.
Other members of the team are Cindy Cassidy (CEO), Kylie Dunstan (Communications), Chris Williams (Farm Manager) and El Warren (Events).
FarmLink’s growing capacity and skills base allows us to roll out a suite of projects across Southern NSW, as well as co-ordinating projects for the GRDC Northern Region and on a national scale for the Bureau of Meteorology. In addition to this the research team is taking feedback from members and developing ideas of their own to apply for funding and eventual future projects which will contribute to the productivity, sustainability and innovation in agriculture in the FarmLink region and beyond.
The management of Temora Ag Innovation Centre on behalf of Temora Shire Council continues, including filling renovated office spaces with Precision Agriculture, Local Land Services and Landcare, developing TAIC into a hub for agriculture in the region.

Mar 08

Farm Budget Masterclass series

Posted by Kylie Dunstan at Friday, March 08, 2019

Coming out of a difficult 2018 season and settling into a somewhat dry start for 2019, FarmLink has identified demand from our farmer membership base for skill development in the areas of cash flow budgeting and applying for finance.
Working with presenter Carmen Quade, FarmLink has a developed a series of Farm Budget Masterclasses, to be held pre-sowing, throughout the FarmLink region.
Most of the drought assistance available for farmers requires a budget as a part of the application process, including Centrelink assistance and both Federal and State funded low interest loans.
Many farmers, though excellent producers, are not confident in their abilities in this area and find the tasks difficult and emotionally draining.
The economics of broadacre cropping are such that many farmers will be seeking additional borrowings or having to renegotiate existing payment terms with financial institutions, in addition to drought assistance this season. The impact of the Royal Commission into banking is already being felt with tighter and more time consuming lending practices.
To meet this need, FarmLink’s Farm Budget Masterclasses will consist of five workshops for farmers on writing cashflow budgets to support discussions with their banks and also for use in applications for government loans or assistance schemes. The workshops have been secured for Ganmain, Temora, Lockhart, West Wyalong and Ardlethan throughout March.
Carmen Quade will deliver these workshops, with support from FarmLink staff. She lectures part time at Charles Sturt University in Agribusiness and Accounting. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Agricultural Commerce) and a Masters in Professional Accounting. Carmen brings a relaxed atmosphere and a sense of humour to the workshops and seminars she presents and an understanding of the complexities and challenges involved in farm finances. Her role as a partner in a mixed farming business in Tallimba, north of Ardlethan, makes her well placed to offer real life examples and create genuine rapport with the participants. She has also discussed the masterclasses with Griffith-based Rural Financial Counsellor Haidee Laycock to ensure that they address the areas of most need.
It is hoped that farming clients who have participated in this workshop will be able to more confidently engage with the services offered by Rural Financial Counsellors and financial institutions generally. This may allow them to arrive to appointments with prepared or partially prepared budgets, increasing efficiency.
If successful, the program could potentially be delivered in other areas of the state where there is a similar need.
This Farm Budget Masterclass has been made possible with a grant from Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network through the Australian Government’s PHN program and Empowering communities program. 
To ensure masterclass participants get the most out of the four-hour workshops, including plenty of opportunities for questions, numbers will be limited to 20 per event.
RSVPs are essential, either by emailing, or calling (02) 6980 1333, letting us know which event you want to attend, how many will be coming from your farming business and your phone number.

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