Time-Tested Collaborative Farming Advice

January 31, 2019 02:33 PM
 
For the last decade, Australian farmer John Gladigau has combined his farm operation, finances and passion with a neighboring farmer, Robin Schaefer.

For the last decade, Australian farmer John Gladigau has combined his farm operation, finances and passion with a neighboring farmer, Robin Schaefer. Their collaborative farming operation, Bulla Burra, spans 27,000 acres and produces cereals, legumes and canola near the southern Australia town of Loxton.

Gladigau, who is a student and advocate of collaborative farming, says this is a model for farms in the future. “Collaboration creates a synergy that can drive businesses to a whole different level,” he says.  

How do you create a successful collaborative business? Gladigau offers this advice. 

  • Find people you know you can easily work with and take time to ensure you are compatible.
  • Take the time to get the model and arrangements correct. You’ll need at least a year, he says. 
  • Ensure the economics stack up by doing comprehensive modeling. Each farmer brings different debt structures and attitudes to risk. 
  • Appoint an independent voice within the business, such as a non-farming manager or advisor. 
  • Everything needs to be commercial. Pay yourself a commercial wage and pay market-value leases and terms. 
  • Focus on relationships and ensure everyone is valued and heard.

Watch a video about Bulla Burra:

Want to learn more about collaborative farming? Read these articles:

Collaborative Cost-cutting: Formally Farming Together

Farming's Next Frontier

Is Collaborative Growth For You?

The Bottom Line: Team Up, Save Money
 

 

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