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Farm succession the key to success.

Executive Summary

The sheep and beef industry is one of New Zealand’s leading exporting industries. Many sheep and beef farms have remained within the same family for generations due to successful farm succession across multiple generations, as evident every year at the New Zealand Century Farms and Station Awards (NZCFSA).

Succession planning is the development of a strategy that will allow a smooth transition of the business and assets with minimal disruption to the business or, more importantly family relationships. Often family members will have different expectations in respect of future ownership of assets and aspirations in respect of involvement in the business. A poorly planned and executed succession strategy may not only have financial and taxation implications but can also have a major impact on family relationships.

After conducting a literature review and three case studies I have formed three recommendations for successful farm succession of the family farm. They are;

    1. Open Communication – Encourage diversity of thinking during farm succession process helps to get a better understanding of all family members vision for the family farm. Who to involve;
        • Both farming and non farming family members and their spouses.
        • Accountants, bank manager and lawyers.
        • And seek advice from an independent farm succession facilitator.
    2. Document Everything – The gold standard would be to devise a comprehensive business plan and distribute to all family members. Documents to consider include;
        • Minutes from every meeting.
        • Farm succession strategy.o Businessgoals.
          o Timeframes.
          o Rolesandresponsibilities.
        • Updated Wills. But most importantly….

      3. Start Early – It is never too early to start!! Conversations should start at an early age and be maintained over the years – we all know how young people’s interest and capabilities change over time. Things to avoid;

  • Making assumptions, as these can turn into expectations.
  • Devising a strategy at short notice, as a poorly planned and poorly executed strategy can have a detrimental effect on family relationships.
  • Not giving praise. Everybody likes praise, but farmers are very reluctant to give any sort of praise. Acknowledgement during succession planning can go a long way to building stronger family relationships.

I hope this report stimulates people to start farm succession planning now!! Enjoy your read.

Farm Succession The Key To Success – Hayden Peter

The NZ honey export company ltd pure New Zealand natural honey.

Executive Summary

It is well known that the honey market is very crowded with multiple brands and product types; however, I believe there is space in the market for a special premium brand. The new brand would target the more sophisticated, educated, wealthy, female market. The brand would be differentiated by refined upmarket packaging and a range of value added products that are well-designed, well- engineered, well-crafted, and selling the experience and story of New Zealand, with a touch of exclusive artisanal look of luxury (Roberts, 2004).

There will be a full range of premium honey products including active manuka, an organic honey range, high-end drinks and other bee products including prololis, royal jelly and bee pollen. Further the value added premium honey products would include sophisticated skin care natural products range targeting successful businesswomen (Cropp, 2015).

A combination of pooled knowledge and technical capabilities of advisors, leadership team, and a strong management team will allow The NZ Honey Export Company to be competitive in the marketplace and provide significant benefit to customers.

Initially, the company will purchase from the retiring owner an existing honey packing facility complete with machinery, labels and licences. The purchase cost for the entire packing plant, equipment and working capital will be approximately $350,000. The initial production would be performed in the vendor’s existing factory.

As The NZ Honey Export Company establishes its footprint and gains a solid reputation, it will leverage its core competencies for continued growth, and to differentiate the company from competitors.

The NZ Honey Export Company Ltd Pure New Zealand Natural Honey – Wendy Oliver

What does it take to effectively lead a group of volunteers: an exploration of the research and resources on leading volunteers.

Executive Summary

Volunteering by the individual and society at large brings benefits across the social spectrum. The contributions it makes socially and economically are very important and volunteering contributes to a more cohesive society by building trust and reciprocity among citizens.

In 2014 44% of New Zealanders did some form of voluntary work – that put us first in the OECD countries for the proportion of population involved in volunteering. In 2015 voluntary workers added nearly $7bn of value to New Zealand’s GDP. This makes volunteering big business and while our volunteering numbers are going up, poor leadership can disincentivise people from volunteering and that has a negative impact on society. The question then begs to be asked: What does it take to effectively lead a volunteer organisation?

This project reviews the available literature and resources associated with leadership and volunteering. It looks to define the common themes for effective volunteer leadership and the common capabilities needed to motivate people to engage in volunteer work. The method of thematic analysis was coupled with critical thinking, to collate the relevant literature.

All the factors and required capabilities for effective volunteer leadership found in the readings were grouped using Fullan’s (2001) Framework for Leadership. Four common themes emerged from the literature on volunteer leadership:

  • Passion for the cause

  • Communication

  • Relationship development and maintenance

  • Leader capability and leadership development

Three of the most interesting points that emerged from the literature were: Firstly the complexity of volunteer leadership. It is not just about ‘turning up and pointing a few people in a direction’ but instead it is a complex process using many varied leadership theories and styles all at once.
The result from using a combination of the effective leader’s capabilities is that volunteers will want to do what you want them to do by their own free will and the organisational goals will be achieved. Further to this they will be motivated to become more active in volunteer leadership roles instead of being ‘reluctant’ leaders or inactive members. Secondly, the skills that volunteer leaders can build over their time in leadership roles have marked synergies with leadership roles in their paid work environment. The motivation to get leadership right is more important when trying to retain or attract a team member who has no financial incentive to remain there but is present by their own personal choice. The volunteer may also get leadership opportunities that would not normally be available in a paid environment.

Thirdly, what was lacking in the resources was lack of support in the form of formal training available for volunteer leaders. The only non sector-specific course highlighted was deemed expensive for volunteers. The suggestion has to be made that with volunteering adding so much value to the economy and social fabric of New Zealand, should the Government not step into the breech and support more training for volunteer leaders?

How has the financial viability of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough changed over the last five years in the three major growing areas?

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The financial viability of Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough has never been stronger, showing returns on investment for the 2015/16 season of 24.47%, now who wouldn’t chase returns like that? Growers and investors are purchasing the remaining bare flat land to develop and keep up with world demand this is seeing record prices paid for both bare land and existing vineyards.
I undertook a literature review in conjunction with interviewing three growers, I was better able to understanding the characteristics of the Marlborough wine region its sub regions, and how these characteristics play out in the flavour of the wine, value of the land and the factors that are driving the current expansion.
What I wasn’t aware of before undertaking this report was just how well this industry was performing and had been over the last 5 years peaking last season as mentioned above, I quickly learned that if we suggest these things to be cyclic then it would appear to me that we are very high in the cycle right now, are we at the peak or do we still have room to move? This report will give you an understanding of where the market is today.

The Urban Rural Divide

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Dairy farmer’s rights, like those of every member of society are bound by what that society is prepared to defend. This defence is called our social licence and it is the trust that has been built up over time between two parties.
The goal of this report is to identify ways in which dairy farmers can better their social licence and hopefully in doing so build enough trust with the public that allows farmers of the future a form of negotiated autonomy.
This need for a strong social licence has always been there but has come to the fore quickly over the last few years as the rise of digital media has meant people can now quickly share or find information on anything at the click of a button. Sometimes the facts of this media are not always accurate, sometimes they are but it may be taken out of context. Trust can be broken down a lot faster than it is made.
My investigation was done with a literature review on how other industries around the world have handled their situations with diminishing trust from communities and what ways they used to improve that standing. I have also conducted a survey of the community to see if any trends were obvious and used the feedback given to formulate some of my research and conclusions.
What I found from the surveys were a difference of opinions on the state of the environment from farmers to more urbanised people with farmers thinking the environment is better than those outside of farming. I also found that people are becoming more environmentally aware.
Results pointed to farmers not wanting to educate themselves at a field day as they thought they knew enough just working on the farm. I believe this is one of the key reasons we are getting a widening of the rural-urban divide and a weakening of the social licence farmers have with the NZ public.
In my opinion, the dairy industry needs to invest more into promoting its story. Farmers need to be implementing and displaying good on farm practices, principles
and values. These actions need to be backed up by Dairy NZ with relatable facts to show what is being achieved on farm nationally and how it relates to the NZ public where possible.
More farmers need to play their part in educating the public. This can be done by hosting open field days, community groups and schools onto their farms to show case what happens on farms and connect the milk in the supermarket to the cow in the paddock.
A unified effort towards improving farming practices in general needs to be done as a collaborative approach by the primary producer industry bodies. The siloed approached to public perception and social license is not effective and I believe this should be a united voice.
I think using on farm certification schemes is a significant way to encourage farmers to go over and above industry requirements. More promotion and adoption of these initiatives will also go a long way to building trust of the public sector. Examples of these programs are Synlait’s “Lead with Pride” and Miraka’s “Te ara Miraka”.
Although change may be painful and costly for some in the short term, embracing the requirements of the social licence in a positive way may be the most effective way for farmers to receive continued support from the community.

Proof of Concept: Farm Genetic Plan for Commercial Enterprise.

Executive Summary

The New Zealand government wishes to double exports by 2025. To do this they wish to increase exports from agricultural sectors to $64 billion. To help, the government has invested in Primary Growth Partnership Programmes to advance science and farm system changes. This includes improving farm management systems.

The genetic and genomic potential in the New Zealand red meat sector industries are vast and often untapped by the commercial farmer. Two key issues overlooked by the industry are;

  1. Understanding and utilisation of breeding values by the commercial farmer is limited, and
  2. The ability to benchmark own key production indicators against the genetic potential of sires is lacking in farm management systems.

Here a farm genetic plan for commercial enterprise is explained and tested on three commercial farmers. The model aims to quantify the genetic merit of the commercial flock, align the genetic merit of the flock with key performance indicators, and identify and evaluate options for improvements and/or changes within the commercial operation.

Ram team/purchases and ewe population structure was combined with Sheep Breeding Limited breeding value data to estimate genetic merit of rams, ewes and lambs within a commercial flock. Estimates of genetic merit of key traits; weaning weight (WWT), carcass weight (CWT), number of lambs born (NLB) and survival (SUR) were reported. Performance data from the commercial flock was used to calculate production statistics for reproduction (lambs tailed per ewe mated and survival from pregnancy scanning to tailing) and growth (to weaning and slaughter). Production statistics were compared against the estimates of genetic merit; tailing percent with NLB, survival with SUR, growth to weaning with WWT and growth to slaughter with CWT.

Meetings were set up with each farmer to discuss the model, clarify inputs and explain results. Feedback was sought on the model, gathering of data, result presentations and overall thoughts. The idea of a “genetic plan for commercial enterprise” was well received. All farmers were enthusiastic about the whole process. Gathering of historical data was difficult and not complete for all farms. None of the farmers knew actual ram teams used, information had to be sourced from the breeding company involved. This proved to be one limitation of the model, however, all farmers were happy with assumptions used to fill in gaps.

The main recommendation suggested by all three farmers was, that for first time users a consultant or qualified person should be used. Interpretations of the results varied and incorrect generalisations were made that could be corrected by the consultant before any decisions are made by the farmer. Overall, all t farmers enjoyed and benefited from the exercise, with a willingness to perform the exercise again the next year.

The next steps of this project are to refine the model and develop it into an online programme/application for use by consultants, breeders and commercial farmers. Finally, there is the potential to modify and extend this model to the deer and beef cattle industries.

Proof of Concept: Farm Genetic Plan for Commercial Enterprise – Natalie Pickering

The Thermo Kennel: Invest in your hard working friends

Kellogg Programme 30

Business model overview:

The Thermo Kennel” has been designed to keep dogs warmer in winter and cooler

in summer. I launched ‘The Thermo Kennel’ in the  Grass Roots Innovation  Section at Mystery Creek Fielday 2014. From the Fieldays I  took away the grass roots runner  up award, market  validation,  list of 100 potential customers,  concept proofing and market publication.

Core competitive advantage:

The Thermo Kennel captures and retains the dogs body heat through quality insulated walls, floor and door. Through insulation the dog  is  kept  up  to  15 degrees warmer on a winter’s night and cooler  in  the  summer.  For additional money the buyer can choose to purchase the kennel with a collapsible and light weight run that allows the dog freedom of movement.

Mission Statement:

Providing thermally efficient and durable dog kennels to the world.


Access the full report here –

The Thermo Kennel: Invest in your hard working friends

Farming mums NZ: The next step.

Executive Summary

Two years ago, I had an idea of adding a ‘one-stop-shop’ website into the brand that is, Farming Mums NZ.

The aim of this study is to determine whether further, specific support and resources are wanted or needed by the Farming Mums NZ community and to initiate a game plan on how to get it started. After Kellogg, I will look at the implementation of my concept and I will surround myself with professionals and advisors who can help me make this happen.

To avoid replication among other organisations, my aim is to create an online platform where each aspect of our industry can be brought together in one place and utilise each of our strengths to create a comprehensive and personalised website with member requested additional content and information not found elsewhere.

To determine whether this would be well received, I formed a 10 part, Survey Monkey questionnaire (Appendix 2). I attached the link into a post in the Farming Mums NZ Facebook Group to get a more accurate view on whether I was looking at the issue from the right angle.

Farming Mums NZ has the social aspect, the forum and the largest numbers giving it a community- feel, meaning great exposure, a dedicated following and a large amount of the ‘Next Generation’ of farmers, farming mums and rural women.

Other organisations I will be looking to collaborate with include Rural Women NZ, Agri-Womans Development Trust, Young Farmers, Dairy Woman’s Network, Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa, Young Rural Ladies, Primary ITO, Regional Community Connectors, AuPair Link, Newcomers Networks, Maori Woman’s League, Farmstrong, Fit4Farming, As well as the wider agricultural industry organisations. I.e. Beef + Lamb, Dairy NZ, FAR.

The support and collaboration between these organisations would be the best use of the website and I believe would add value to each of them. Each organisation could give a valuable contribution of resources and information from a different area of the industry and expertise, creating a whole and well-rounded knowledge base. In saying that, having full support industry wide won’t determine whether the concept goes ahead.

Nadine Porters Kellogg report from earlier in the year highlighted the need for us to all work together. I agree completely with this point and believe it is the best way forward to form a well- rounded support system for our wider industry rather than each organisation offering separate ideas, overlooking key points or risking replication.

”Who is the voice for rural women? There seems to be confusion among women as to who is representing them. Rural women groups urgently need to co-ordinate and develop a collective strategy in today’s environment.” Nadine Porter, 2016

The results from the survey were positive and with 660 participants it helped to build confidence around the idea and what was most important to those who will be most likely to benefit. 96% of respondents were on board with the idea.

Having the brand “Farming Mums NZ” or similarly named, along with the large page support and reputation bringing this initiative together, is going to be the best way to engage the largest number of technologically savvy women. I also see FMNZ as an independent in the middle of these other mentioned groups with no particular industry bias or current monetary influence.

Farming Mums NZ: The next step – Chanelle O’Sullivan

Improving communication of primary industries research, science, technology and innovation

Executive Summary

By the year 2020, over $1.6 billion of New Zealand taxpayer money will be invested in science and innovation per annum. What share will Primary Industries have of this investment?
“With the coming of the fourth industrial revolution – fundamental change to our daily personal and professional lives from the combination of physical, digital and biological technologies – the primary sector will find itself at the centre of change.”
Ian Proudfoot, Global Head of Agribusiness, KPMG 2016
The aim of this project was to understand what the benefits might be of improving communication of government-funded Research, Science, Technology and Innovation related to the New Zealand Primary Industries and how this could be achieved. Ten stakeholders from a wide range of areas in the science and innovation ecosystem were interviewed and findings were related to literature and initiatives already underway in New Zealand. Benefits of improving communication include:

  • Attracting science and innovation talent to the primary industries and building future capability
  • Positive engagement with the public ensuring social licence to operate
  • Building New Zealand’s international reputation as an innovative country – to attract skilled migrants, build partnerships with global experts, and be seen as a trusted producer of safe, premium food and fibre products
  • Improved cross-sector collaboration and learning
  • Faster and more advanced innovation in industry from research, science and technology uptake

To achieve sustainable growth in New Zealand Primary Industries, attracting and retaining a diversity of talented people is critical. Recommendations from this report for key stakeholder groups include: Government:

  • Improve the New Zealand Story Business Toolkit information on science and innovation
  • Government funding agencies could publicise their science and innovation investments more
  • Include a section on the quality of the communication plan in assessment criteria for government science funding

Research Organisations:

  • National Science Challenges could increase their focus on engaging school children in science and innovation (and the government could incentivise or reward them for doing this)
  • Universities and Crown Research Institutes could include positive public engagement in their promotion criteria for staff (likely if the government funding criteria changes)

Primary Industries:

  • Industry associations or businesses could develop more graduate programmes with a science and innovation focus to create career pathways for attracting talented young people
  • Businesses could sponsor employees and their research providers to visit schools to talk about science and innovation being invested in and the future career opportunities in their sector
  • Industry could investigate how to collaborate on opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution

Improving communication of primary industries research, science, technology and innovation – Kylie Phillips

Farming in the family with positive succession planning and governance

Executive Summary                       

The fundamental drive behind completing this research is to identify various key procedures and initiatives that successful New Zealand family businesses instrument to ensure their achievements and wealth are passed down through the generations successfully. I was also concerned in clearly recognizing some of the common issues which arise in family succession strategies and methods in which these matters may be avoided.
This project will benefit the rural community to hopefully provide an insight into farming families to think about the big picture and long-term viability of their business. I want the project to benefit farming families and professional advisors by also providing some context around governance and effective structures which have been planned. I hope the rural industry will relate to this report and understand that all families are different and not one plan will work for everyone. I want this report to provide guidance around communication and when and how to remove the elephant in the room, leading to successful conversations and positive outcome for all parties involved.

Succession planning is the progress of a strategy that ensures transition of the family farm, from one generation to another with minimal disruption. Succession planning can often be a living document to safeguard all family relationships and future ownership of assets, aspirations and involvement in the farm. Rushed or poorly planned and implemented succession strategies can have major impacts on family relationships along with extreme financial implications on the business.

What I relished most about putting this research paper together and gathering the required data was the chance to spend time with farming families who had extremely successful industry knowledge; and sit around the kitchen table with them and speak openly about their own businesses and experiences. They each happily shared with me the issues and barriers they had challenged along the way, and what they had learnt along the way from any mistakes. These people have been there and done it and could share their real stories with passion; their experiences and knowledge in my opinion, is considerably more valued than any other material source obtainable. I enjoyed this part of my research to be extremely exciting, and it reiterated to me how much I enjoy the Agriculture industry and what a joy it is to be involved in.
From gathering my data for this literature report I have made three recommendations for effective and successful farm succession of the family farm.

  1. Start early with conversations to avoid any assumptions or expectations which members of the family may have. These discussions should start at an early age, as young people’s interests do change, along with abilities and skill set. A poorly executed plan and approach can often be put together at short notice with damaging effects to family relationships.
  2. Open communication to stimulate a range of sophisticated thinking throughout the farm succession process will help to get an enhanced understanding of all family members’ idea and vision for the family farm. In my opinion both farming and non-farming family and spouses should be involved in this communication. It is also essential to seek independent advice from a succession facilitator, and have other trusted advisors involved including Bank Manager, Accountant, Lawyer, and Farm consultant.
  3. Document everything with a completed business plan which is handed to all family members. Consider including minutes from meetings, farm succession strategy including time frames, roles and responsibilities, goals, and updated wills.