• Loddon Herald

Back from bootcamp

NEW generation farmers from the Loddon have attended an Agriculture Victoria business bootcamp.

Among them was James Coghlan, of Bridgewater, who said the young farmer event over two days had helped him improve the way of thinking towards farming.

“It has helped in the area of business analysis and decision making, therefore hopefully improving our farm efficiency and ultimately our profit percentage,” he said,.

“The key thing I took away from bootcamp was that it’s important to have a good quality understanding of the business side of your farm as it can help improve your on farm decision making immensely, giving you the power to hopefully advance at a quicker pace to reach your on farm goals.

“Specifically, relating to making good quality numbers backed decisions and improving efficiencies in areas we should and shouldn’t be investing by intricately managing risk versus reward.”

James said he wanted to improve the land “I’m lucky enough to farm, specifically assisting in land development and business management to help reduce risk of the volatile nature of the farming game”.

And he says the most surprising thing over the two days was finding out how much “we can potentially improve our business with the correct use of some of the quality management tools supplied at the bootcamp”.

James says he grew up on the family farm, spending much of his spare time as a young lad out working with the stock or helping where he could with driving machinery around for cropping.

“But after the completion of secondary school I had other off-farm aspirations, that being a path into studying engineering in Melbourne,” he said.

“Although I was drawn back to the land nearly two years ago now with some newly acquired engineering knowledge hoping to bring a different perspective or mindset into our growing business.

“One of my on-farm roles includes the design and manufacture of projects to help improve various aspects of our farming program, along with consistent maintenance of plant and equipment.

“Other than this I assist on many of the day to day tasks of our mixed farming business.

James said he had chosen farming as a career, attracted by the variety of daily work and the degree of problem solving with many tasks.

“Many of the tasks completed on the farm bring with them a degree of problem solving, which after studying engineering many of the thought processes and task management skills seem to line up well with how my mind works,” he said.

“I can also see the great potential in agriculture in the coming years with great technological advancements, giving us the ability to farm extremely efficiently to get the most out of our stock and land, therefore I thought there’s no better time to come back to the family business and help improve upon what many generations of Coghlan farmers have done before me.” James said.

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