Planning is essential – dairy new entrants advise on not being ‘clueless’

Members of the Greenfield Dairy Discussion Group spoke of their experiences of planning and why it is essential when setting up a new dairy business at Moorepark’15.

Luke Casey, a 2014 new entrant dairy farmer and former beef farmer explained why planning was necessary for him as a new entrant.

Casey began planning his new enterprise in 2012. He developed a plan that would allow him to fully understand what would be required in terms of investment and output for his business to be a success, he said.

“It is essential that you have a proper plan and that you understand it. We carried out all our financial projections at 28c/L.”

“We knew that if milk price was going to exceed this our plan would work.”

He explained that dairy farming is a tough job and that farmers must plan to make their business a success.

“We put a lot of time and effort into making our farm as efficient as possible.”

John Cummins, another new entrant from Waterford explained that he was almost clueless of dairy before he made the switch from beef.

“I had to go to our local Teagasc advisor in Dungarvan to do a business plan, I didn’t know enough about facts, figures and what stock numbers I could go to, I needed a plan to fully understand this.”

Percy Mills also highlighted the importance of having a sound business plan when it comes to investment.

“I wanted to draw up a business plan. I knew my business plan inside out and believed in it.”

“This benefited me greatly as once I believed in my plan it was easy to get the banks to believe in it.”

Abigail Ryan, head of the Greenfields Program added that farmers should get proper advice when setting up their business.

“We don’t want to see any going out of business as a result of taking bad advice from somebody.”

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