Extension work on pilot farms
This month marks the first anniversary of the RMPP Pilot Farms programme. Since its launch last year, it has been delivering significant benefits for farmers, who are valuing the learning and putting ideas into practice on-farm. There are almost 70 farm businesses currently involved in the programme. The pilot activities range from workshops to one-to-one sessions with rural experts on tasks ranging from body condition scoring, using software for feed budgeting, soils, forage and nutrition. Farmers are also learning from their peers with tours of high-performing farms in different locations, bouncing ideas off each other in group gatherings and building mentoring relationships. Being exposed to the practical good practice achievements of their peers has “worked spectacularly well” as one pilot farmer commented. Exposure to new and effective practices has also been a wake-up call for some farmers, motivating change. In one case, a meat processor had found that killing sheet analysis was the key to engaging their young farmer group as it benchmarked their lamb production performance against a larger group.
Understanding Your Farming Business
This course engages farming women as critical partners in their sheep and beef farming businesses by building business knowledge, skills and confidence. The course involves four high-quality, full-day workshops delivered by industry experts over four months in a relaxed and supportive environment. Some of the topics covered include: business planning, how to measure farm performance and potential and how to assess financial information. On returning to their farming business with fresh eyes, participants are more informed in decision making and can communicate strongly to help create positive change. In 2015 150 women completed the course with 240 enrolled to complete courses in 2016. Click for more information.
Computing for Farmers
In early June RMPP is launching a series of computer courses to help farmers put technology to work. Through these courses farmers gain confidence to use computers as a business tool. Course 1 - Getting Started takes people through the first steps, including email and exploring the internet (with a focus on sites farmers can use) and word software. Course 2 - Using Farm Data builds confidence in using farm data, with an introduction to Excel (spreadsheets) and an overview of farm management tools such as Cash Manager, Farmax and AgRecord. Click for more information...