Cultivate Farms have a focus on the Mildura and Mallee regions with our efforts to match farmers. We want to get at least three farm ownership matches in the next 12 months. Sam chats with Rebecca from ABC Wimmera about how anyone can be a farm matchmaker and help keep/bring the next generation into farm ownership.
The Federal Government have just announced the AgriStarter Loan is now available. They say they are 'loans to assist first-time farmers and loans to support farm succession arrangements'.
I have had a quick skim and it looks pretty good. Good rate and terms and it is excellent support next gen farmers and retiring farmers. But you still need to have a farm business plan, have some equity and have an arrangement with a bank. We will be working through the loan with our Cultivators in the current program to see how they can leverage this. It emphasises the need for you to have your farm business plan and/or investment proposal ready. There are so many opportunities to get onto your farm - the limitation is you having words on paper and financial model to convince someone to back you. This is why we run Cultivator - farm pitching program - a few times a year. So that we get you ready to jump onto opportunities like the AgriStarter Loan. Check out details here and we kick off on Feb 18. Applications close soon.
Sam interviews Sheia from Lifeforce Farms (https://lifeforcefarm.com/) who has been on the farm ownership journey for many years. We have been working to help Sheia uncover opportunities and she just recently secured another long term partnership with a landholder. Sheia talks about the amount of effort required in finding opportunities, about the persistence needed to uncover opportunities and how powerful (and sometimes daunting) sharing her story is (via blogs and social media), but now without that constant storytelling, opportunities would not have opened up for her.
Sam shares ideas and his experiences building Cultivate Farms through content creation on social media. He believes that we have never been in a better time to share your ideas, get attention and subsequently uncover opportunities for you to own your farm (or build your business). Sam was speaking at a Bendigo startup meetup event.
In this update Sam Marwood provides an update on how we are continuing to find farm ownership opportunities for you all.
Cultivate Farms TV Episode 81:
- Cultivator Program Update - our 10 farmers are pulling together their farm pitches for the investor
- We are launching a project in Queensland on Vendor Finance - watch this space
- We are pulling together a book - ’The first farm owners guide’. Super excited for this
- Ageing on Farm program is gaining momentum. This will result in a practical guide for farmers on how they can decide if they age on farm and back a next gen farmer
- Many from the agricultural industry are reaching out to us - lots of plans underway to find more farm opportunities for you
- More farms being loaded on the system - www.cultivatefarms.com/farms
Let's get you farming!
Cultivate Farms are developing a guide for Ageing on Farm with Maria Berry who is a champion for older Australians.
Maria and Sam unpack how important this concept will be for retiring farmers across Australia
Ageing on Farm is the process of farmers realising their potential for physical, social and mental wellbeing on their farm.
A cornerstone concept is that ageing farmers heading towards retirement are best able to achieve their goals with partnership opportunities with younger farmers.
We want to help farmers identify pathways to stay on their farm for as long as they want.
Reach out if you would like to be part of the program - email@example.com
Sam's delivers another ‘1-hour farm ownership pathway plan’ workshop. This time in Dalby Qld as part of the Investing in Ag series.
Sam works through super practical steps on how you can find your own pathway to farm ownership
Get inspired and let’s get you farming
You may be in your home more, but this doesn’t mean your farm ownership dreams should be stuck as well. Here are 10 ideas to keep you moving on your path.
1. Write your farm investment pitch
You can’t convince someone to invest into a farm if you don’t have a plan and you don’t have a plan unless you have written it down.
So spend your Corona time writing. We have a template you can download - http://www.cultivatefarms.com/aspiringfarmers?fbclid=IwAR3OSwf-mFiabFtstHYlVlWiuEhZL_D8yWigqiY7TFXkOX-Bg-L7ZekV6rQ
Write 10 dot points a day. Just get writing. Pick the farm you want, go to farmbuy.com and pick a farm and just write about it
Write about a farm a retirement aged farmer you know owns and write about that. Get their advice on what you have written and say you are learning how to pitch. What a great conversation starter with them.
Build a financial model. Show you know your stuff.
Or use it to show you don’t know your stuff, but you are learning
We have hundreds of blog posts and videos and podcasts of practical tips on how to own your farm
3. Vision board
Create a vision board for what you really want out of life and for your farm. If you don’t know what you are aiming for, how you know if you get there
4. Little black book
Get your list of people you need to be part of your journey - retiring farmers, potential investors, people who know people. Get your list sorted and figure out how you will engage with all of the ongoing, so they help find you farm opportunities.
5. Keep farming or get farming
You need to be good enough for someone to back you, so keep farming.
If you want to farm and haven’t even been farming, what are you doing?! Get out there and work on a farm.
6. Document your farm ownership journey
Finally, setup a Facebook Page and start telling people that you are on a journey to own your farm. Then create one piece of content each day talking about your desire to own a farm.
7. Write letters to retiring farmers
Get out a piece of nice paper and your best pen and write a heartfelt and true letter to one or a few retirement-aged farmers that you know and whose farm you’d love to be involved in.
8. Keep your farmer profile up to date
Investors and retiring farmers do check our profiles and they aren’t impressed when you don’t have much information about yourself in there. So, do yourself a favour and ensure your details are up to date and also present the best story about yourself you can.
9. Farm ownership pathway plan
Watch this video which works through ways for you to write your own farm ownership pathway plan.
Use this time to think about what you really want out of life
Is owning a farm really a burning passion? You need to know this or else you aren’t going to follow your passion
The topics we cover in Episode 79 of Cultivate Farms TV:
1. Cultivator 10 farmers
2. Uncovering farm investors
3. How we are key to Agriculture’s 2030 Plan
4. Cultivate Communities update
5. Ageing on Farm
6. 26 farm ownership opportunities
In November 2019 I had the chance to present the ‘one-hour farm ownership pathway plan’ to a crowd of over 300 @Young Beef Producers Forum in Roma Queensland.
I had the pleasure of co-presenting with Claire Coates from Freeland Pork who was our first farmer matched with an investor.
If you haven’t seen that amazing presentation you can watch it here:
The Future Farmers Network organised the event and they had questions come in via the cloud which meant there was a stack of questions that we couldn’t get to. So I wanted to take the time to answer these questions here so everyone can benefit.
The context to these questions was a focus on practical ideas on how aspiring farmers can find their pathway to farm ownership.
The questions were ranked, so I’ll leave the highest voted questions till the end. But I think all of them were rippers. Most of my answers are ‘it depends’
As you listen you will see why we have the focus we have with Cultivate Farms -i.e. a matchmaking service. Because every farm, farm operation and the people involved have different requirements. So there is no one size fits all. People farm for different reasons, people invest for different reasons and retiring farmers want/don’t want to share for different reasons.
Your job as an aspiring farmer is to find 1000 people who might be able to help, in the expectation that one of them you will form a great relationship with and then co-own a farm together.
1. How do we change employer/farm owners mentally towards young people wanting to own a farm like when I first started out I was told there is no possible way to own a farm unless you are born into it?
2. What advice do you have to give young people looking to invest in properties and competing with foreign ownership?
3. Wouldn't the investors and retired farmers want the best profits so how do you make money to pay them?
4. With the recent loss of agricultural teaching institutions such as the ag colleges, how can the knowledge and skills from farmers who've been on the land for decades be passed on?
5. Are cultivate farms goals limited to farm ownership? Or do they extend to creating profitable agribusinesses?
6. What is the biggest road block young people who want to own a farm run into aside from personal motivation?
7. How many deals would a candidate look at before securing a successful one?
8. How involved do the investors that approach you want to be in the farming business?
9. Do the arrangements result in profit sharing with the existing owner?
10. Practically, is the investor the one buying the farm then entering into an agreement with you or are you taking money from the investor to then go and buy a farm?
11. Return on investment in ag is so low - how do you make a living and pay back your investor?
12. What returns in investment are the investors looking for when they invest?
13. How is ownership transitioning? Are the new operators reinvesting profits to the owner to effectively pay off the farm?
14. Not sure how to word this without sounding cynical, but wondering if there are any fail stories from Cultivate Farms matches and how has the business learnt and grown from these mistakes?
15. What happens if the farm doesn't turn a profit? E.g. multiple drought years etc.
16. What kind of preparation does a young farmer need before approaching a retiring farmer or investor? Do they need an existing business that needs growth or just a solid business plan and budget all set out?