Mentoring opportunities for northern beef businesses
Northern cattle producers are invited to sign up to a new program aimed to help them enhance their business with the support of a mentor and other like-minded producers.
MLA, through the MLA Donor Company (MDC), has partnered with the Agribusiness Development Institute (ABDI), to launch the Northern Beef Business Mentoring Program.
Using a combination of webinars, teleconferences, workshops and longer-term mentoring, the program will guide businesses through a structured and focused business change and development process.
Gordon Stone, ABDI director and program mentor, says the program’s focus is principally around ‘doing business’ rather than ‘doing production’ – and the business focus is wider than gross margins, succession and livestock profit drivers because it focuses on customer engagement and markets, how to initiate then manage business growth, dealing with the associated risks and more.
Initially, businesses will undertake a stocktake to evaluate their current position, identify the key issues in their own businesses, then work collectively on how best to turn around these problems. Participants will be mentored by industry professionals to help them make change happen.
“It’s easy to go to a workshop, learn all these great concepts and skills, then go home and plan to do something with them – yet so often, no real change occurs,” Gordon said.
“The biggest challenge is in the application of the thinking to implement the changes identified by the owners or managers.
“Long-term mentoring means we can work with beef businesses to ensure they stay committed to what they said they wanted to achieve at the outset. Then, when the inevitable roadblocks appear or things seem too hard, we work together to maintain the momentum and commitment to move through these things bit-by-bit.”
The program is also based around sharing ideas and experiences with other like-minded and motivated cattle industry operators, through regular live workshops and interactive programs.
The program will roll-out in southern Queensland from this month and then into other parts of northern Australia in 2016 and 2017. It is supported in Queensland by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and AgForce. The cost of the program will be subsidised during the initial phase by the MDC and ABDI.