Good turnout to Turning Opportunity into Profit seminar

VALUABLE SEMINAR: The Beef and Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) and AgFirst ‘Turning Opportunity into Profit’ seminar on Friday drew a big crowd to the Poverty Bay Golf Club, and the audience received a lot of valuable information. Speakers included (from left): Max Tweedie from B+LNZ Genetics, Brett Teutenberg from Hinenui Genetics, George Tatham from B+LNZ, Farm Business of the Year winner Willie Falloon, former Gisborne-Wairoa hill country farmer of the year Hamish Newman, and Stephen Thomson from AgFirst. Picture by Murray Robertson

MORE than 100 farmers, farm service providers and others packed the Poverty Bay Golf Clubrooms last Friday for the very successsful, ultra-informative ‘Turning Opportunity into Profit’ seminar.

It was staged by Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and AgFirst.

The line-up of quality speakers was headed by 2017 Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year winner Willie Falloon, 2010 Gisborne-Wairoa Hill Country Farmer of the Year, Hamish Newman, and Brett Teutenberg from Hinenui Genetics.

“The big turnout was a direct response to the high calibre of speakers,” said Peter Andrew from AgFirst.

“The five speakers were all farmers and many were at the very top of their game.”

They spent the afternoon passing on their farming experiences to a very receptive audience.

Brett Teutenberg gave an insight into the genetic package at Hinenui Genetics. Brett and Lucy Teutenberg farm Coopworth and Romney flocks over their two properties at Muriwai and Rere.

“The Teutenberg name has been synonymous with both the start of Coopworths and the start of building Facial Eczema tolerance in this district,” Mr Andrew said.

“Facial Eczema tolerance has now built rams that have transformed farming in this district’s front country.

“Brett showed graphs that tracked historic genetic progress on Hinenui compared to other studs. Hinenui is in the top 20 percent of studs in New Zealand in the critical Maternal Worth index which includes selection for reproduction, growth, survival, wool, adult size and meat.”

“The future for sheep genetics is exciting as we now have advanced selection tools such as DNA selection and Genomic tools to use,” Mr Teutenberg said.

“This will enable even faster genetic progress to produce rams of even higher genetic worth.

“The challenge now is for the district’s farmers to provide the feed to maximise the weight of the lambs produced at weaning,” he said.

A team approach to farm management was covered — “Utilising the team to maximise the opportunities”, Mr Andrew said.

Willie Falloon led that segment of the programme.

He and his wife Angela won this year’s Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farm Business of the Year award.

Mr Falloon revealed that his family had been through tough times in the late 1990’s and that taught them critical disciplines that he would use for his future farming.

“The disciplines are to identify who are the top farmers and learn from them, budget so you and your bank have a road map of where you are going, and benchmark your business every year.

“These early lessons have been critical for the growth that has occurred in our business.”

Mr Falloon profiled the growth that went from managing, to leasing, then to farm ownership.

“This was then followed by off-farm investments, which included dairy farm investment in the South Island and an Angus stud in the USA.”

Mr Andrew said the Falloon family were driven to achieve high-income levels per hectare, with an average of $1636 per hectare being achieved during the last four years.

“We like to stay inside the Top 10 in benchmarking and are disappointed if we are not,” Mr Falloon said.

One of the main reasons they have been able to achieve the high gross being that they have been running with a high stocking rate of 11 s.u./ha, Mr Andrew said.

“This means that all grass is consumed and there is no surplus. They are believers in feeding high-quality grass and also use grain to feed to ewes during the summer dry periods. Flexibility is also provided by running 25 percent of the stock as saleable trade animals such as finishing lamb.

“Willie said he was a great believer in acting immediately — ‘If you hesitate you will regret it’.”

As far as fertility was concerned, the Falloons were great believers in lime and have strong phosphate and sulphur levels.

“If needed, they use 50–60kg nitrogen on some of the better country up to twice a year to fill in the gaps.”

In his summary, Mr Falloon said best farming practice was using high-quality feed, good fencing and fertiliser with simple systems.

The seminar heard some of the judges comments from the Wairarapa farmer of the year contest: outstanding financial returns; consistency of returns and performance in tough environment inspiring; absolute focus on controlling the controllables; outstanding stock and stock performance; innovative growth options utilised outside their own farm gate; passion for the industry and the young people coming into it.

Hamish Newman held the audience in the palm of his hand in his presentation too as he discussed 10 years farming in the top 10.

He and his wife Paula farm the 463 hectare Brookfield property at Motu and won the 2010 Gisborne Wairoa Hill Country Farmer of the Year.

“Hamish spoke about the challenges and motivation to stay in the Top 10,” Mr Andrew said.

“Hamish said he likes to keep farming simple and we should have no more than six classes of stock.

“Taking off and feeding the tail end stock is his best return on the Kg DM invested.”

Mr Newman said: “You need to have a good return on investment. You must make two dollars for every dollar you spend.”

As far as innovation was concerned, “You don’t want be a pioneer. It is better to be a fast follower”.

Mr Newman said he was also a great believer in operating with a high level of debt to maintain focus.

“Staying in the Top 10 makes you bankable and opportunities become reality. That has enabled the family to grow our business with the purchase of Tiniroto Station and, more recently, a 1000-cow dairy farm.”

B+LNZ farmer director George Tatham finished the seminar with an update on the organisation’s actitities, including its new vision: ‘profitable farmers, thriving farming communities, valued by all New Zealanders’.

“Our four priorities are to support farming excellence, with seminars like this — to help farmers make better business decisions.

“Then there is the input and engagement we have with government and the public, to tell the story of the good work farmers do around the country.

“We also work to unlock more market potential, to increase the value of farming’s products and we work to enhance farming’s environmental position.”

Stephen Thomson from AgFirst, who facilitated the seminar, had the final word — “It’s good to come along and listen to some good yarns, but it’s what you do when you go home that matters.”

He challenged the farmers there to take away what they had learned and apply it.

MORE than 100 farmers, farm service providers and others packed the Poverty Bay Golf Clubrooms last Friday for the very successsful, ultra-informative ‘Turning Opportunity into Profit’ seminar.

It was staged by Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and AgFirst.

The line-up of quality speakers was headed by 2017 Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year winner Willie Falloon, 2010 Gisborne-Wairoa Hill Country Farmer of the Year, Hamish Newman, and Brett Teutenberg from Hinenui Genetics.

“The big turnout was a direct response to the high calibre of speakers,” said Peter Andrew from AgFirst.

“The five speakers were all farmers and many were at the very top of their game.”

They spent the afternoon passing on their farming experiences to a very receptive audience.

Brett Teutenberg gave an insight into the genetic package at Hinenui Genetics. Brett and Lucy Teutenberg farm Coopworth and Romney flocks over their two properties at Muriwai and Rere.

“The Teutenberg name has been synonymous with both the start of Coopworths and the start of building Facial Eczema tolerance in this district,” Mr Andrew said.

“Facial Eczema tolerance has now built rams that have transformed farming in this district’s front country.

“Brett showed graphs that tracked historic genetic progress on Hinenui compared to other studs. Hinenui is in the top 20 percent of studs in New Zealand in the critical Maternal Worth index which includes selection for reproduction, growth, survival, wool, adult size and meat.”

“The future for sheep genetics is exciting as we now have advanced selection tools such as DNA selection and Genomic tools to use,” Mr Teutenberg said.

“This will enable even faster genetic progress to produce rams of even higher genetic worth.

“The challenge now is for the district’s farmers to provide the feed to maximise the weight of the lambs produced at weaning,” he said.

A team approach to farm management was covered — “Utilising the team to maximise the opportunities”, Mr Andrew said.

Willie Falloon led that segment of the programme.

He and his wife Angela won this year’s Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farm Business of the Year award.

Mr Falloon revealed that his family had been through tough times in the late 1990’s and that taught them critical disciplines that he would use for his future farming.

“The disciplines are to identify who are the top farmers and learn from them, budget so you and your bank have a road map of where you are going, and benchmark your business every year.

“These early lessons have been critical for the growth that has occurred in our business.”

Mr Falloon profiled the growth that went from managing, to leasing, then to farm ownership.

“This was then followed by off-farm investments, which included dairy farm investment in the South Island and an Angus stud in the USA.”

Mr Andrew said the Falloon family were driven to achieve high-income levels per hectare, with an average of $1636 per hectare being achieved during the last four years.

“We like to stay inside the Top 10 in benchmarking and are disappointed if we are not,” Mr Falloon said.

One of the main reasons they have been able to achieve the high gross being that they have been running with a high stocking rate of 11 s.u./ha, Mr Andrew said.

“This means that all grass is consumed and there is no surplus. They are believers in feeding high-quality grass and also use grain to feed to ewes during the summer dry periods. Flexibility is also provided by running 25 percent of the stock as saleable trade animals such as finishing lamb.

“Willie said he was a great believer in acting immediately — ‘If you hesitate you will regret it’.”

As far as fertility was concerned, the Falloons were great believers in lime and have strong phosphate and sulphur levels.

“If needed, they use 50–60kg nitrogen on some of the better country up to twice a year to fill in the gaps.”

In his summary, Mr Falloon said best farming practice was using high-quality feed, good fencing and fertiliser with simple systems.

The seminar heard some of the judges comments from the Wairarapa farmer of the year contest: outstanding financial returns; consistency of returns and performance in tough environment inspiring; absolute focus on controlling the controllables; outstanding stock and stock performance; innovative growth options utilised outside their own farm gate; passion for the industry and the young people coming into it.

Hamish Newman held the audience in the palm of his hand in his presentation too as he discussed 10 years farming in the top 10.

He and his wife Paula farm the 463 hectare Brookfield property at Motu and won the 2010 Gisborne Wairoa Hill Country Farmer of the Year.

“Hamish spoke about the challenges and motivation to stay in the Top 10,” Mr Andrew said.

“Hamish said he likes to keep farming simple and we should have no more than six classes of stock.

“Taking off and feeding the tail end stock is his best return on the Kg DM invested.”

Mr Newman said: “You need to have a good return on investment. You must make two dollars for every dollar you spend.”

As far as innovation was concerned, “You don’t want be a pioneer. It is better to be a fast follower”.

Mr Newman said he was also a great believer in operating with a high level of debt to maintain focus.

“Staying in the Top 10 makes you bankable and opportunities become reality. That has enabled the family to grow our business with the purchase of Tiniroto Station and, more recently, a 1000-cow dairy farm.”

B+LNZ farmer director George Tatham finished the seminar with an update on the organisation’s actitities, including its new vision: ‘profitable farmers, thriving farming communities, valued by all New Zealanders’.

“Our four priorities are to support farming excellence, with seminars like this — to help farmers make better business decisions.

“Then there is the input and engagement we have with government and the public, to tell the story of the good work farmers do around the country.

“We also work to unlock more market potential, to increase the value of farming’s products and we work to enhance farming’s environmental position.”

Stephen Thomson from AgFirst, who facilitated the seminar, had the final word — “It’s good to come along and listen to some good yarns, but it’s what you do when you go home that matters.”

He challenged the farmers there to take away what they had learned and apply it.

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