InTouch January 2020

From the Managing Director

It is always interesting to reflect on last year and set some new goals for this year. We held our annual family meeting just before New Year’s Eve. With no kids at school now, the dynamic of the family meeting has certainly changed, but it was still great to spend some time talking about the future as a family.

As an avid planner, I find the process of annually reviewing and setting goals satisfying and enjoyable. It is also very good to discuss why some goals have not been achieved and what needs to be unlocked to ensure they become a priority moving forward. We have been having an annual family meeting for the last 12 years. Our daughter was only 6 when we started. Obviously, the sophistication of the annual family meeting has evolved a lot, but it has proved to me that you are never too young to start experiencing the planning process.

Having experienced firsthand the impact of the Pinery Fire in 2015 (when 95% of our farm was burned out), I can sympathise with the clients who have been impacted at Yorketown, Keilira, Cudlee Creek and, more recently, on Kangaroo Island. The physical and emotional impact cannot be underestimated. I know we are still cleaning stuff up… All these fires demonstrate to me, that on a catastrophic or ‘mongrel day’, no farm is safe. It also got me thinking about our insurance for our farm moving forward. Our farm is very segregated, and I never thought for a moment that virtually all of it would be impacted, but the fact is, it was…

As we move into a world where records seem to keep being broken, we must ask ourselves, “if our farm was burnt out, how would we cope and is our insurance up to it…?”

At a philosophical level, if our business cannot afford to lose the asset, then it really needs to be insured. Just knowing how many kilometres of fencing exists can be useful for informed decision making. The other aspect that we learned is building standards change and the gap between the insured value and replacement value is always increasing. As we move into goal setting for the next 12 months, I believe adding a critical review of all insurances is a prudent move.

As we move forward, we are always keen to understand more about client needs and perceptions. Considering this, we will now include a short questionnaire with each InTouch edition based on a particular long-term issue. An outcome of this process is to continue with customisation of our services and the creation of new ones. The first questionnaire relates to perceptions around climate change. We will share the results with you in future editions of InTouch. To complete the short survey (1-2 minutes), please click here.

Rural Directions has some exciting projects planned for 2020. We will progressively announce these projects as we progress through the year.

We look forward to working with you again throughout 2020.

Dave