When applying for the opportunity to take part in the highly accredited, bespoke Australian Agribusiness Leadership Program (AALP), I was asked what challenges I see the agriculture sector facing in the next two to three years.
Immediately, my mind went to land values and succession. In my view, it’s a challenge I see coming to the forefront over the next few years.
While our industries are often aware of their respective threats, approaches to risk mitigation in agriculture continue to be fragmented.
When it comes to land values and property sales, many farmers’ decisions are based on an emotional pull, rather than the long-term profitability of the acquisition.
Clients are making the decision based on scale – looking to expand and grow but without assessing the productivity of that piece of dirt.
The flow on effect is longer term succession and farm growth are inadvertently impacted. Larger farmers keep bidding-up-big to continue to grow while the smaller growers get left behind; yet still with the need to expand to remain viable.
As generations come onto the farm, the pressure to increase scale rises forcing decisions over calculated decision making.
Having recently completed the AALP program I have also had time to consider the challenges of the disconnect between the community, the agricultural industry and the consumer.
The program really got me thinking.
Not only did it push my thinking around challenges the industry faces, it also opened my mind to pushing the boundaries of my leadership style, trying new and different approaches and really working on self-awareness.