The Manawatu Monitor Farm - working to a plan
If you take a drive along Mangaone Road, which bisects a mixture of rolling downs and steep gully country north of Feilding, much of your trip will be spent passing the farming operation of father and son team Dennis and Simon Wishnowsky.
Dennis and Simon have taken up the challenge of becoming the next Manawatu Breeding and Finishing Monitor farm. The stark mix of land types dictates a true blend of breeding and finishing stock. This includes breeding ewes, a substantial breeding cow herd plus lamb and cattle trading, in a challenging winter wet/summer dry environment on heavy clay soils.
Facilitators Trevor Cook and Ginny Dodunski from Totally Vets are helping the Wishnowskys formulate a business plan that will highlight the way forward for the three years of the programme. Maximising profitability, simplifying the farm system and farm succession will be key focal points for Simon and Dennis whilst they are Monitor Farmers.
"This was too good an opportunity to pass up" says Simon, who in addition to running the farm with Dennis is General Manager at Venison Packers in Feilding, a Halcombe volunteer firefighter and has been club captain of the FOB/Oroua Rugby club (phew!).
Identified within the farm business plan will be the main areas where performance can be improved. The drivers of these will be clarified and solutions implemented in a logical manner, with input from the community group.
"In past Monitor Farm programmes, a lot of work went into producing a farm business plan, but it was not necessarily used to its full potential as a map from ‘where we are now' to ‘where we want to be" says Ginny. "We really want everyone to have a clear picture of what the goals of this business are, and the plan for reaching them".
Click on the links below to go directly to the summaries from each day: