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Success defined by locals

ONE major attraction at the South Gippsland Dairy Expo saw local community members from across the industry impart their ideas of success.
Matt Harms of OnFarm Consulting conducted an interview titled, “What does success look like?”, posing questions to a diverse panel which included dairy farmers, a restaurant owner, financial consult and focus farmers.
Matt and Robyn Colwill from Stony Creek, Meeniyan’s Fay and Daryl Sinclair, Damien Murphy from Dumbalk, owner of Moo’s at Meeniyan Marty Tjomas and Leongatha banking consultant Russell Mann made up the panel of South Gippsland business people.
Mr Harms opened the presentation by discussing the monetary values promoted by the industry that define a successful dairy business.
All panellists agreed success cannot be merely defined by bank statements but rather a sense of fulfilment in a happy lifestyle and managing a balance between work and free time.
Mr Murphy opened with what would be the general concensus of the day; many farmers work to achieve an individual sense of achievement through maintaining successful relationships outside of the workplace.
“I think success is personal to everyone and it cannot be defined by dollars or possessions. For me it comes down to being consistent in my farming, and getting my work and life balance right,” Mr Murphy said.
“Some of those figures are relevant but it is not the be all and end all.”
Stony Creek’s Mr Colwill agreed success was a personal sense of fulfilment in life rather than gaining wealth from the land.
“For me success is more focused on gaining a sense of achievement in developing the property and keeping debt down,” Mr Colwill said.
Mrs Cowill credited fellow farmers in the area for possessing a vast skill set and persevering through difficult circumstances.
“All farmers have to be versatile and adaptable. Farming covers a massive number of things that have to be managed so farmers require diverse skills to be successful,” Mrs Colwill said.
Moo’s at Meeniyan owner Mr Thomas said although he was not a farmer, his business cannot be sustained without the success of the dairy industry in Meeniyan.
“I have always been in business for the lifestyle and I love my job. I think all of us on this panel love what we do,” Mr Thomas said.
“Down here everything is about the community. Without the success of the community I do not have a successful business. I know that my business can thrive because my community does.”
Mrs Sinclair from Meeniyan agreed farming is about appreciating a desired lifestyle with family and friends by simplifying the job.
“The key is to try to make life easy and enjoy what you do, and then it does not seem like hard work,” Mrs Sinclair said.
“We employ people to help out on the farm. We train them to work the way we want them to so that way we can enjoy life when we are not on the farm without stressing.”
Mr Murphy agreed.
“I have tried to make the farm as basic as possible. When I am away my workers can step in and things can be done simply enough,” he said.
Leongatha banking consultant Russell Mann agreed with all that what defines success varies for every person in the dairy industry.
“It is fine for a farmer to say they want to meet goals and targets. But if you set out to meet ‘x’ number of milk solids per cow and profit ‘x’ amount of dollars, you are not necessarily going to be happy or love what you do,” he said.

A successful panel: back from left, Marty Thomas, Damien Murphy, Matt Colwill, Robyn Colwill, Fay Sinclair and Daryl Sinclair, and front from left, Russell Mann and MC Matt Harms made up the panel at the “What does success look like?” session.

A successful panel: back from left, Marty Thomas, Damien Murphy, Matt Colwill, Robyn Colwill, Fay Sinclair and Daryl Sinclair, and front from left, Russell Mann and MC Matt Harms made up the panel at the “What does success look like?” session.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=16260

Posted by on Sep 29 2015. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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