In this edition
- CEO update
- John Gransbury is retiring
- The importance of communicating with your bank
- Harvest update
- 2023 Tasmanian Young Water Professional of the Year - Isaac Probert
- People development workshops planned for summer 2024
- Employee value proposition (EVP)
- Next Generation Breakthrough - 2024 SA and Tasmania programs
- Containment feeding support for tactical decision making in dry times
- Management of vineyards after fire damage
- Foundations for success - free webinar
- Harvest photo competition
Welcome to this edition of InTouch.
Last weekend two of our three 35,000L rainwater tanks went dry. I always keep one tank quarantined just in case something happens. Given this, I flicked open the gate value and reset the pressure pump and we were away again. The last time this happened was in 2007 and it was much later in summer. I then reflected on the season in Clare and recalled we hadn’t really had a lot of rain. Actually, it hasn’t rained for months. I then looked up the CliMate App and looked up the Jan – Nov rainfall for Freeling. To November 9, we are 152mm below our median rainfall. Annual rainfall for Freeling is the sixth lowest since the year 1900. This is a recurrent theme across many clients nationally.
I then reflected on the crop yields that are currently being harvested and celebrated the effectiveness of our farming system and the technical advice we receive to optimise our gross margins.
The year has also been compressed. Last year’s late harvest and this year’s early seeding put a lot of pressure on many clients. Many have managed this well, but many have cracks. There is a lot of talk about the importance of resilience. Resilience is defined as “the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties.” In many respects, resilience is reactive. I prefer to be proactive and forward looking. Given this, I prefer to advocate 'stamina'.
Stamina is the ability to prolong physical and mental effort. In any business, it is accepted there will be good times and not so good. Managing this business cycle requires a level of physical and mental fitness that can be developed by any farm and business owner. Building stamina requires intentional physical and mental training, ongoing skills development, support and rest. I am hopeful many clients can take the opportunity to reflect on the year and rest. Some business stamina building goals for 2024 can also be developed.
Currently, we have some exciting projects happening within our business. We also have some great opportunities for clients emerging in 2024.
We have some notable staff announcements to share, as John Gransury is retiring after an impressive 45 years of service. I want to take this moment to extend my congratulations to John and, on behalf of the team, wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement. Shifting gears, it's always a delight when a team member's hard work is recognized. In that spirit, we are excited to announce that Isaac Probert, a Graduate Water Engineer, was recently honoured as the Tasmanian Young Water Professional of the Year at the Australian Water Association annual dinner in Hobart. Congratulations, Isaac fantastic work!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support this year. On behalf of the Pinion Advisory team, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!
John Gransbury is retiring
After 45 years of designing irrigation and water systems, it's time I put down the tools.
I was the former owner of HydroPlan, which along with Rural Directions, Sunraysia Environmental and Macquarie Franklin, merged to form Pinion Advisory. It was a perfect fit for the HydroPlan business and 20 staff at long-term offices in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. With over 12,000 commercial ‘pump and pipe’ systems in 30 countries, the diverse mix of urban and rural applications brought geographical spread and an opportunity to expand the services offered to clients. Water is critical, whether growing plants in the city or the paddock – but scale, drivers and risks are wildly different.
The importance of communicating with your bank, particularly during a downturn
In years where everything is ticking along nicely, spasmodic communication with the bank is okay. If, however, commodity prices are low, and seasonal conditions aren’t favourable, then more regular communication with the bank is advisable. Ideally, this should be a two-way street, the bank should be communicating early as well.
Across the southern region, some headers are getting their first taste of the 2023 harvest, whilst others are done with their duties and parked back in the shed ready to roll out next year. A season incomparable to the last, harvest conditions have been near perfect for many regions with crops ripening earlier than usual and harvest running close to three weeks ahead of schedule.
The Pinion Advisory team is thrilled to share that Graduate Engineer, Isaac Probert, has been named 2023 Tasmanian Young Water Professional of the Year.
Isaac, a civil engineer, joined Pinion Advisory in mid 2022. Working from Hobart, in our water engineering team, he contributes to projects ranging from private farm infrastructure, through to regional water schemes for clients such as Tasmanian Irrigation. On the weekends you might find him volunteering with the SES or paddling a kayak on a Tasmanian watercourse.
Pinion Advisory currently employs nine graduates (from a workforce of 100 this is an impressive stat!) across our agribusiness, water and environment teams. We love working with early career professionals and helping them grow fantastic careers. If you, or someone you know, is interested in a career within Pinion Advisory reach out to us.
Isaac will compete for the National Young Water Professional Award at OzWater’24 in Melbourne. We all think he would be a worthy winner!
People development workshops planned for summer 2024
We have a series of online workshops kicking off next month. These include:
Farm HR: Creating Employers of Choice
Group 1: 23, 30 January & 6 February 2024
Group 2: 8, 22 February & 7 March 2024
This workshop is for those new to HR management or wanting to brush up on their HR knowledge.
Topics covered include job descriptions, overview of FairWork and the Pastoral Award, culture and creating compliant and motivating wage offers.
“It’s a valuable and holistic view on employment. Well worth the time”, Jeremy Lush
“Do the course if you are employing or about to employ. Gives you a great overview”, Scott Manser.
12, 13 & 14 December 2023
7, 14 & 21 February 2024
Online course delivered over three sessions via Teams
A valuable add-on to the farm HR course is the Strong Foundations workshop series. As our relationships within extended family, work and home are complex and occasionally contentious, Strong Foundations is aimed at helping you better navigate connection, communication, leadership and stress.
“Insightful and instantly effective” Suse Ifould
Employee value proposition (EVP)
The agricultural industry has experienced increased demand for labour in the last few years. Employers are looking for strategies to stand out in a very competitive employment market. We don’t just compete with other farms; we also compete with other industries.
Next Gen – 2024 program (SA & TAS)
2024 will see the start of another Next Gen Breakthrough program. Now is the time to get involved.
This program has benefited many farming families and business teams. Here are a few of their comments after completing the three-year program.
Containment feeding support for tactical decision making in dry times
In drought conditions or times of reduced pasture growth, containment feeding can be a valuable tool to supplementary feed stock while removing the grazing pressure on dormant pastures to maintain ground cover and reduce erosion risk.
With many regions of southern Australia experiencing a dry spring and continued dry weather forecast for the summer ahead, decision making about setting up containment feeding is likely to be on the minds of many producers. Pinion Advisory consultants, Georgia McCarthy (Tasmania), Lauren Rowlands (Tasmania) and Nathaniel Modra (South Australia), with support from the Tasmanian Farm Innovation Hub and MacKillop Farm Management Group, have undergone specialist training and will be providing one-on-one support to producers who are interested in developing a plan to set up a containment feeding system, or are looking to improve on an existing set up.
Introductory workshops will be held in Tasmania and the south-east region of South Australia over summer (dates and locations to be confirmed). Workshops will aim to:
- Connect producers from the same region with an interest in implementing or improving containment feeding options for sheep enterprises.
- Increase the knowledge, confidence and skills of producers to make informed decisions around containment feeding, including suitable designs, nutrition and feed requirements, animal health and water requirements.
- Highlight the value of completing a plan to support producer decision making about containment feeding systems.
Following these workshops, attendees will have the opportunity to access support and work one-on-one with a Pinion Advisory consultant to develop an individual containment feeding implementation plan for their business, outlining the best suited system for their enterprise, in addition to nutrition and ration assistance.
Containment feeding workshop dates and locations for Tasmania and South Australia will be confirmed shortly and registration will be essential as places are limited. If you are interested in attending and accessing further support with implementing a containment feeding system for your sheep enterprise, please contact one of the following consultants.
Georgia McCarthy, Livestock Consultant (Tasmania)
M: 0400 763 904
Nathaniel Modra, Agribusiness Consultant (Naracoorte, SA)
M: 0438 640 768
Management of vineyards after fire damage
On December 20, 2019, the Cudlee Creek Bushfire burnt through 25,000ha of the Adelaide Hills. 1,200 hectares of vineyards were damaged, representing approximately 30% of the Adelaide Hills Wine Region plantings. The fire damage to vines ranged from scorched leaves to charred trunks.
Foundations for success – free webinar
Experiencing frustration in a relationship at home or on farm? How we talk to each other, beliefs we create, and our automatic anger-response is usually to blame… and that’s all fixable. Join Bron as she provides insights and strategies that can greatly improve relationships and wellbeing.
Watch the YouTube for a couple of key insights Bron shared at a recent Livestock SA webinar.
If you like to hear more, you can register for a Strong Foundations online workshop.
Harvest photo competition
Send in your best harvest photo from this season for your chance to win a pair of Apple AirPods (2nd generation) valued at $219.
Simply click the link below to email your photo and include your name, contact number and the location of the photo*. Easy!
*By submitting an entry, you give permission for Pinion Advisory to use your photo for promotional purposes.