Firing up the next generation with the Next Gen Breakthrough program

Next Gen Breakthrough Group

The Next Gen Breakthrough Group program started in early 2020 in South Australia and is about to kick off in Tasmania. The program aims to develop key business management skills in the next generation of farmers, to provide a platform for success as succession occurs. Delivered over 3 years the program focusses on:

  • Improving financial literacy by analysing your business’s performance
  • Strategic planning
  • People management
  • Management succession
  • Corporate governance
  • Decision making

Daniel Petersen is now halfway through the 3-year program, and we asked him some questions about what he’s found so far.

What do you do and where is your business?
“I farm alongside my Dad, Michael, at Petersville on the central Yorke Peninsula, SA. We grow wheat, barley, lentils and canola, and also purchase trade lambs to finish through our feedlot.”

What did you do before returning to the farm?
“I completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours in Plant Science before working in the weed science research team at the University of Adelaide.”

Why did you join the Next Gen Breakthrough Group?
“My Dad was flying by the seat of his own pants when he first started farming, so he was eager to seek professional help to better equip the next generation. We saw this program as the perfect opportunity to, not only, further develop my skillset as a farm manager, but also assist with making the succession of the business a smooth transition.”

What have you found valuable so far?
“Adopting the family corporate model has established a more formalised business environment that facilities strong communication between Dad and I. These foundations have been important for the development of a mentee/mentor relationship instead of one that is purely based on being father and son.

The family corporate model has also resulted in the implementation of sound due diligence processes in our business to guide more informed decisions. Consequently, we have undertaken extensive benchmarking to understand how we are performing, while we have also conducted a thorough analysis of machinery cost of ownership. These factors have helped remove emotion from investment decisions and further enhanced the development of sound business cases to improve structural efficiencies, gross margin optimisation and overall profitability.

The capability assessment tool has identified areas for personal development. Annually reviewing these results has provided quantifiable progression and has helped to formulate a clear plan to improve on weaknesses. This has added a level of accountability to strive to attain the targets that have been set out.
Overall, networking with young like-minded people on a similar journey has been invaluable. This program makes you feel comfortable to be vulnerable about your business and receive constructive feedback from others. It creates conversations that you would not normally have with family members or other people that you do business with.”

What are you looking forward to?
“Refining our strategic plan and setting goals for our business will provide a clear direction on further growing our business. I am also looking forward to the remaining Next Gen sessions; these are a great opportunity to reconnect with others in the course, which always stimulates informative conversations and new ideas.”

If you want to hear more about the Next Gen Breakthrough group program, then please contact us.

Registrations are currently open for a new group in Tasmania, please contact Ashley Evans for more details via email or call 0418 854 536.

We are also taking expressions of interest for new groups in SA and Victoria.