Expand the sections below and find out how this page will help you:
Make decisions with confidence
If you are planning your career progression, considering business structures or working out if this is the right role for you, DairyNZ have tools to help you make those decisions.
Assess a VOSM role or how much money is required for a 50:50 job.
Control your cashflow, calculate likely surplus or deficit and consider different scenarios.
How well does an opportunity rank or fit with your plans for the future?
What type of operating structure should you pursue for progression?
Farmer to farmer support and mentoring, sharing information and experiences about a particular farm topic.
QuickPlan helps develop a life plan within two hours, providing example vision statements, goals and actions.
All the information you need to make confident and effective farm management decisions.
Ensuring you have good advisers and support around you is a tried and true method for success. DairyNZ’s mentoring service, Dairy Connect, links farmers to share knowledge and experiences.
Meet with your accountant to develop a plan for autumn/ winter 2016 cashflow and consider options for 2016-17.
Access relevant support
DairyNZ is helping to facilitate the provision of extra support for sharemilkers by working with industry partners. Our industry is built on farmers helping each other and working together cooperatively – these offers are from other farmers and organisations who want to help you succeed.
- DairyNZ’s Dairy Connect service puts farmers seeking advice in touch with farmers who have knowledge and experience across specialist topics. Buddy-up with a farmer in your area to share strategies and help with your decision making. Read more.
- Are you entitled to Working for Families tax credits? Working for Families Tax Credits are a group of four different payments available to families. You may qualify for one or more payments, depending on your family circumstances.
- More information on how to apply for Working for Families Tax Credits can be found via the following link: http://www.ird.govt.nz/wff-tax-credits/.
- If entitled, you can receive Working for Families Tax Credits either weekly, fortnightly or by annual lump sum. Those who are self-employed will generally receive their entitlement via lump sum once their tax returns are filed. If you wish to receive the entitlement more regularly going forward, this can be done by contacting IRD: http://www.ird.govt.nz/wff-tax-credits/payments/changes/
- Please note that the definition of 'income' for Working for Families Tax Credits is quite broad, and can be adjusted to include business income, overseas income and drawings etc. We recommend that you speak to your accountant if you are unsure about your entitlement to Working for Families Tax Credits..
- Federated Farmers have facilitators who can help assist conversations between variable order sharemilkers and farm owners. If the discussion would benefit from a third party, or as a variable order sharemilker you feel you need some confidence in starting this discussion, then contact Federated Farmers on 0800 327646 or visit fedfarm.org.nz. This service is available to all VOSM regardless of membership (see disclaimer below).
- Rural Support Trusts help people and families in the wider rural community who are experiencing stress and need support to more effectively meet and overcome these challenges. Services are free and confidential. Learn more here.
- Figured are offering sharemilkers free monthly subscription to their Figured Financial Farmer plan until June 2016. This offer applies to new customers. Learn more here.
Manage cashflow and finances
Do you have farm and personal budgets for this season and 2016-17? Do you know what is ahead of you in terms of cashflow? The first step to getting through this period of low milk prices is having a clear view of your finances. Click here to meet with your accountant for a one hour free session or Click here for example variable order cashflow budgets.
DairyNZ have a range of online budgeting tools for personal and farm business (annual and monthly cashflow) budgets. Opportunity calculators are designed to assess money made from a VOSM role or calculate what’s needed for a 50:50 role. Access a budget template to suit your needs here.
Talk to your farm owner, banker, accountant, farm consultant or an experienced farmer and make sure you have the best team supporting you to achieve your goals.
Communicate and make a plan
This season, more than ever, it is crucial for farm owners and sharemilkers to communicate effectively.
A meeting between farm owners and sharemilkers to discuss financial position, concerns, options and ambitions will help ensure everyone is on the same page and make planning for the future easier.
Consider bringing in a third party to help facilitate those conversations.
Who could help facilitate the discussion?
Don’t hesitate to call Federated Farmers; their team is ready and willing to help. Otherwise think about trusted farmer friends, farm consultants, bankers, accountants, or a well-respected community member. Someone you know who is good at listening and working with people. Would they be comfortable bringing everyone together to find a workable solution?
As the sharemilker, having met with the farm owner, write down the key points of your plan. Include finances (both your farm business and personal), farm system and people on the farm. For a planning tool order DairyNZ's QuickPlan.
Put your plan into action
Having a long-term vision for your business and family will help you through this period of low milk prices. Surround yourself with positive people to help make that vision happen.
Communicate the plan with your banker, accountant, family and farm team to help keep on track.
Don’t forget to build in some fun and family time and enjoy what you do – see what’s happening in your community.
Join Dairy Women's Network to connect and be inspired with like-minded people and to check out what modules and events DWN are offering in your Region.
New Zealand Young Farmers clubs are great fun and can help you develop leadership and personal skills.
Learn what others are doing
What have other farmers implemented this season to help sustain their business? Here is a list of options that farmers have shared with us.
Farm Owner ideas:
- Bringing in a farm consultant to help find the best solution for everyone.
- Share more expenditure, such as paying for electricity or farm dairy costs.
- Top up what the variable order sharemilker is receiving, equivalent to a salary
- Provide farm supplies, diesel, feed or even dinner/grocery vouchers
- Offered the option of contract milking
- Farm owners providing time as relief milking or permanent staff
- Farm owners sharing skills in developing, tracking and monitoring finances
- Discuss farm budget with farm owner and plan, together, a reduction in expenses such as feed inputs, and improved pasture utilisation.
- Meet with accountant to review tax payments.
- Look for ways to increase income, e.g. pasture harvested, raising cattle or pigs.
- Reduce personal expenditure.
- Use savings accumulated from higher payout year to support this season.
- Sell non-essential assets to support cash flow.
- Seek off-farm employment.
Remember to discuss all decisions with your farm owner as you have a contract together. Discuss any changes to your contract with your accountant or lawyer, particularly if you are changing from self-employment to being an employee, or if it affects other employees.
Are you a farm owner, sharemilker or contract milker advertising or applying for a new sharemilking position?
Access the tools and information you'll need to confidently build a successful business partnership at one of four workshops nationwide.
31 August 2015
Federated Farmers Disclaimer
Facilitation is provided to help both parties discuss the current situation. Any suggestions or options discussed are not legal advice. Any decisions or actions resulting from the discussion are the responsibility of both the sharemilker and farm owner. If legal advice is required farmers may choose to join Federated farmers to access that service. Confidentiality is respected.