Prepare as best you can, react when you need, says drought mentor Judd Smith
The Murray Bridge-based agribusiness expert is one of 300 around Australia who will help the next generation of farmers become more resilient.
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If you want your farm business to make it through the next drought, now is the time to start planning, says Judd Smith.
As someone who grew up on sheep and cropping country at Karoonda, and who spent many years as an agribusiness expert with NAB before joining a consultancy this year, he knows a thing or two.
Now he hopes to share that knowledge.
He was named a mentor under the federal government’s Drought Resilience Leaders program last month, and charged with helping two young farmers – one in New South Wales, one in Western Australia – prepare for the future.
Resilience was partly about preparing for the things you could predict, he said, and partly about reacting to the things you couldn’t.
“What has worked in the past might not work now,” he said.
“(Your) business might have 100 years of experience, but you’ve got to adapt to new ideas as well.
“For a young farmer who’s keen, who wants to grow and make their own mark, how do you do it in the right way?
“That’s where this (leadership) program brings in different ideas and thoughts.”
Mr Smith, from Avoca Dell, will not be the only Murraylands resident involved with the program.
Cooke Plains farmer Susie Ifould will take part as a mentee.
Federal MP Tony Pasin said the government’s $11 million partnership with the Australian Rural Leadership Program would match 300 mentees with 250 mentors across the nation.
“Farming skills, including drought resilience, are passed down from generation to generation,” he said.
“This program is about facilitating those connections to benefit farming communities here.”
A third round of the program is expected to open in January.
More information: rural-leaders.org.au.
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