NSW Government to extend popular Farm Business Resilience Program
Farmers across NSW will have ongoing support to build resilience when it comes to future droughts and other natural disasters, thanks to a multi-million dollar commitment in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.
Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the NSW Government, in partnership with the Commonwealth, will provide $12.1 million to continue the popular Farm Business Resilience Program until June 2024, following the positive response and take-up of the pilot program.
“Following the extreme weather events that have occurred across NSW over the past several years and a global pandemic, our farmers continue to face challenges and uncertainty when it comes to the management of their farming operations,” Mr Kean said.
“Through this multi-faceted program, farmers will have access to free business coaching, farm tours, workshops, networking events and a series of online resources which will provide advice on various aspects of a farming operation.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said feedback from those who have already participated in the program has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The program has already had significant intake, with farmers across the state receiving support to create their own business plans, bank ready budgets and drought strategies,” Mr Saunders said.
“Not only will these tools play a huge role in everyday farming operations and future-proofing properties, it gives landowners the opportunity to network and meet people in the same boat as them to further strengthen and diversify their businesses.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said building resilience is key to safeguarding communities from future severe weather events like drought, bushfires and flood.
“It’s through initiatives like the Farm Business Resilience Program that communities can recover faster and more effectively when natural disasters strike,” Ms Cooke said.
“Whether it’s drought, bushfires, floods or storms, the NSW Government is committed to improving how local communities can withstand whatever severe weather event is thrown at them.”
Matthew and Cherie Coddington own and manage ‘Roseville Park’ Merino Stud on 3,240 hectares just south of Dubbo in the State's Central West and are among the first group of farmers to participate in the Farm Business Resilience Program.
“The program has given us access to a great business coach with a farming background who holds us accountable for improving our financial security and managing our triple bottom line,” Mr Coddington said.
“We have access to a diverse cross-section of farming businesses and farmers who think outside the box and are not afraid to be brutally honest to help each other improve their business resilience.
“Since our coaching sessions began, we have re-defined our goals and our business strategy for the short and long-term future to be multi-generational and to be financially secure regardless of the season and have put strategies in place to help us withstand the challenges that our industry and climate will throw at us.”
Since its implementation in 2021, the pilot of the Farm Business Resilience Program has provided more than 1,500 farmers across NSW with the risk management tools and capabilities they need to build stronger operations.
The program is an initiative of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, which is jointly funded with the NSW Government. For more information, including access to business tools and resources and to register your interest in the 2022 Business Coaching Program, visit: https://www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au/programs/farm-business-resilience-program