Training for the unexpected

As a farming community, we know and understand that the unexpected should be very much expected. Each year throws up a new scenario or set of circumstances that we must navigate. Farmers have been trained to expect and manage this inevitable unpredictability.  

But are we training hard enough? 

Are our businesses going to get through the toughest of matches or have we only done enough to get through the easiest of games? (Apologiesfor the sport associated lingo- too much time each week observing local sporting contests)

If we did more of the ‘hard yards’ and trained more diligently, what further successes could be achieved? Could our businesses be more resilient?

What do the hard yards look like in a farming context? What is BCG’s role in supporting farmers across our region in the navigation of this expected unpredictability?

First and foremost, BCG exists to conduct robust research and extension activities that enhance the production capability and profitability of our farms. This year BCG is working across 35 research sites throughout the region, localising research outcomes.  We aim to deliver research work that can assist day to day business decisions for farmers.

As the coach, BCG encourages all our farmers to make the time to access the research.  Incremental inclusion of this research into farming practice is fundamental to building resilience. 

Another of BCG’s roles is to bring the farming community together to build strong social networks. Sharing ideas and solutions is so important to help build the strength of our businesses. 

Another reason Coach BCG wants our farmers to attend BCG events is to meet new people and build a network to share ideas and solutions.

Looking after human resources within a farming business is an important key to success, as I have mentioned in previous BCG eNews editions. BCG hosts many events that ask farmers to reflect on farm communication, on how decisions are made, and on how to ensure that successful planning and succession strategy are in place.

Coach BCG urges all farmers to be proactive in looking after and investing in the people involved in the business. Do not avoid conversations. Spend regular time and energy understanding the aspirations, frustrations and perspectives of all involved in the farm.

Also look after your health – mental and physical.

Underpinning BCG research and activity is a desire for farming communities and landscapes to be resilient into the future. Vibrant, thriving communities, enhanced landscapes and overall improved liveability are key. Maintaining soil cover, engaging in revegetation in areas where it makes sense, being aware of the future: these are life-enhancing practices which should be automatic.

If we can continue to train our businesses in all of these areas, our farms will be match fit, ready for the toughest of oppositions.  Especially when the opposition is unexpectedly skilful.  

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