WA dairy farmers take top business award

30 Jun, 2010 08:23 AM
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Westpac's head of dairy Roddy Brown (left), Sue Evans, Grant Evans and Westpac Agribusiness chief executive Graham Jennings at the award ceremony.
Westpac's head of dairy Roddy Brown (left), Sue Evans, Grant Evans and Westpac Agribusiness chief executive Graham Jennings at the award ceremony.

DAIRY farmers Peter and Grant Evans, North Jindong (south west of Busselton), have taken out WA's top spot at the fourth annual Westpac Agribusiness and Dairy Australia, Australian Dairy Business of the Year award ceremony.

According to judges, the father and son combination achieved one of the highest returns on capital in the competition.

The national winner was the Lang family, Tatura, Victoria.

Peter and Grant, who run 840 cows on 442 hectares at "Paskeville", produce a staggering 1008kg of milk solids and 13,940 litres of milk a hectare a year.

The Evans family had been using Red Sky Farm Performance Analysis for the last four years to benchmark their performance within the dairy industry.

Business performance analyses were carried out by Red Sky Agricultural for the annual competition and the dairy owners taking part were judged on their return on capital among other criteria.

Many of the top performers in the competition achieved a return on capital greater than 10 per cent.

"Producers are demonstrating that a profitable industry is possible and achievable," Red Sky Agricultural managing director David Beca said. "By studying what they are doing well through the competition's bench-marking process other farmers can learn how to apply these practices to benefit their own enterprises."

He also said the most valuable outcome of the awards event and accompanying dairy business seminar was clearly identifying what factors made the best dairy businesses so successful.

Other considerations by the competition judges included profit made a hectare, the cost of production, pasture harvest a hectare, milk production a hectare, labour efficiency, cost of feed and the core cost structure of the business.

"We're always keen to do By BOBBIE HINKLEY

DAIRY farmers Peter and Grant Evans, North Jindong (south west of Busselton), have taken out WA's top spot at the fourth annual Westpac Agribusiness and Dairy Australia, Australian Dairy Business of the Year award ceremony.

According to judges, the father and son combination achieved one of the highest returns on capital in the competition.

The national winner was the Lang family, Tatura, Victoria.

Peter and Grant, who run 840 cows on 442 hectares at "Paskeville", produce a staggering 1008kg of milk solids and 13,940 litres of milk a hectare a year.

The Evans family had been using Red Sky Farm Performance Analysis for the last four years to benchmark their performance within the dairy industry.

Business performance analyses were carried out by Red Sky Agricultural for the annual competition and the dairy owners taking part were judged on their return on capital among other criteria.

Many of the top performers in the competition achieved a return on capital greater than 10 per cent.

"Producers are demonstrating that a profitable industry is possible and achievable," Red Sky Agricultural managing director David Beca said. "By studying what they are doing well through the competition's bench-marking process other farmers can learn how to apply these practices to benefit their own enterprises."

He also said the most valuable outcome of the awards event and accompanying dairy business seminar was clearly identifying what factors made the best dairy businesses so successful.

Other considerations by the competition judges included profit made a hectare, the cost of production, pasture harvest a hectare, milk production a hectare, labour efficiency, cost of feed and the core cost structure of the business.

"We're always keen to do bench-marking for our own personal use," Peter said. "As much as anything we do it to reflect our own efficiency and to see where we can improve our business."

Peter's wife Sue and son Grant attended the award ceremony and associated retreat held in Melbourne last week.

"We've never entered the competition before and my son Grant took a bit of convincing," Peter said. "It was good for him to get involved because he's at the stage now where he's taking on a lot more of the responsibility.

"It gave him an amazing boost and he came home inspired.

"The highlight of the award for us was gaining a greater understanding of our business and it was great to get a good look at our strengths and weaknesses."

The regional and special award winners each received a $1200 cash prize.

"Westpac congratulates the Evans family on their outstanding achievement," Westpac's head of dairy Roddy Brown said. "They are a very practical inspiration to other dairy farmers in a difficult operating environment.

"Peter Evans and his family have shown the dairy industry that businesses can still operate with a high level of profitability even in the context of lower milk prices and drought."

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