Communication – the key to family & business success


The “people factor” in farming businesses is the central theme of a free event, ‘Talking Farming – Crucial Conversations’ to be held in Nhill next Thursday 11 July at the Nhill Football Clubrooms.  

Delivered by the Birchip Cropping Croup, highlights of this event include keynote speaker Judy Wilkinson a business continuance consultant from South Australia and panel discussions including ‘Conversations with my younger self’, ‘Growing up fast’, ‘So you fell in love with a farmer’ and ‘Putting your hand up’ featuring Wimmera and Mallee farmers. 

Event facilitator Kate Burke from Think Agri brings more than 24 years’ experience working with farmers and says regardless of the structure of a farming business, it’s how the people function in that business that can make or break it. 

“People might have a natural talent for agronomy, finance, marketing or livestock, but it’s the ability to communicate effectively – to have the crucial conversations when they are needed, often between different generations – that’s the ‘glue’ to makes it all work” she said. 

Open to young farmers, their parents and their partners, attendees can expect to get tips about how to start their own crucial conversations but also hear experiences from others involved in family farms and even share their experiences.  

Pointing to succession planning as a prime example where some farming families don’t have the conversations or “wished they had”, Kate says panel discussions like ‘You can’t ask that’ with Lawloit farmers John and Sophie Bennett, Peter Taylor from Lubeck and Darren Jones from Crop Smart, will ‘bust open’ the often avoided subject as panellists share the effective (and not so successful) conversations they’ve had in relation to planning the future their farming business.  

“In a business where the family and business dynamic can be so closely linked, I hope attendees will be able to understand how our working and personal lives can be improved by being courageous in communication” Kate said.  

‘Talking Farming – Crucial Conversations’ is a free event held on from 9am to 3.30pm at the Nhill Football Clubrooms, 9 Davis Ave, Nhill. 

Registration online is essential (  

This event is delivered by the Birchip Cropping Group, supported by Agriculture Victoria and the Farming and Community Group Drought Funding Program. The event is also supported by the GRDC, ADM and the Nhill Young Farmers. 

For more information contact Amy Harwood at the BCG office on 03 5492 2787 or  

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