Profitable farm expansion and work life balance

Janine Batters

“Profitable farm expansion and work life balance can be achieved but you need to commit to taking the time to manage the growth,” says Agrifocused director Carmen Quade who will be outlining how at BCG’s Farm Expansion Day on Tuesday the 25th of July at the Birchip Leisure Centre. Register at: 

“Ultimately it comes down to how much you want both the expansion and the balance. Do you really want to have a smooth-running business and a less complicated life? More time on the weekend to do what you want while still growing your business?” 

“If you want it enough, you need to take the time to examine the farm business and really consider some of the concepts we will discuss at the BCG’s Farm Expansion Day,” Ms Quade said. 

In her talk Managing growth within the business, the communications and training expert will outline strategies to simplify planning and organising, the importance of delegating and outsourcing and understanding the cost/benefits of each business within the farm. 

“Farms have been dramatically increasing in size in the last decade and most have evolved into more complex businesses with more grain stored on farms, grain marketing, transporting grain and fert—there are three or four businesses within the business all competing for resources, time and labour. The farmer is trying to do it all from the one brain and they are most likely using the same system they were using in a smaller enterprise.” 

Ms Quade explained that in a corporate business of similar size, the business would have a marketing manager, procurement officer, machinery general manager etc. “Rather than handing out tasks, farmers need to be thinking about handing out responsibility and minimising trivial daily communication around who does what etc. 

“I’ll talk attendees through how to set up systems that will simplify while still getting the crop in on time AND being at the footy on the weekend. We do need to commit to taking the time to attend days liked Farm Expansion Day however and learning how to, and actually implementing, systems to do things smarter. As a result, things will be done in a timely fashion and you will pick up those once hidden costs you were missing.” 

Farm Expansion Day will also cover land investment principlesbuy versus lease versus share farm with ORM’s Ben Hogan, machinery investment decisions and benchmarking with Kondinin Group’s Ben White and farming beyond family with Denise McLennan.  

The event will conclude with a panel of farmers and advisers sharing their farm expansion experiences including how advisory boards can aid such decisions, in particular, how they can build resilience in times of drought.  

Event organiser and Vic Hub North West Broadacre Node Lead for BCG, Grace Hosking said: “As part of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub North West Node, BCG is hosting this event to help farmers considering expansion to determine if their business will benefit and if so, how while looking after their health and wellbeing and ensure the farm doesn’t come undone in times of drought. By gaining information regarding labour units, machinery and land purchases, how to communicate effectively and hearing other growers’ experiences, this event aims to provide attendees with the tools needed to guide objective expansion decisions to capitalise in good years and weather the bad.” 

The event will run from 9.30am to 3.00pm. To register visit For more information call the BCG office on (03) 5492 2787.   

This event is part funded through the BCG managed North West Broadacre node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, which is supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund. This event is also part of the Resilient Farming Communities project funded by Agriculture Victoria and the Department of Health in collaboration with Deakin University and the National Centre for Farmer Health. This project is part of the broader Smarter Safer Farms Initiative.  


The Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub is a state-wide collaboration of 10 organisations.  

Led by the University of Melbourne and with headquarters at UM’s Dookie Campus, the Vic Hub is a Partnership between five farming organisations (Birchip Cropping Group, Food & Fibre Gippsland, Mallee Regional Innovation Centre, Riverine Plains and Southern Farming Systems), four universities (UM, Deakin, Federation and La Trobe), and the State Government (through Agriculture Victoria).  

One of eight hubs established nationally under the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund (FDF), the Vic Hub works to enhance the drought preparedness and resilience of Victoria’s agricultural industries, the environment and regional communities, encompassing broader agricultural innovation. Engaging with a range of industry and community stakeholders, the Vic Hub links research with community needs for sustainable outcomes. 

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