THREE TO FIVE YEARS ON – THE FARM BUSINESS RESILENCE CASE STUDY OF STRATEGIC PLANNING TO ADDRESS WICKED PROBLEMS IN FARM MANAGEMENT.

Noonan, John D

Agribusiness Management, Curtin University, Australia

j.noonan@curtin.edu.au

 

ABSTRACT

The Farm Business Resilience Program’s delivery of the Farm Planning training program in Western Australia has delivered improved short to medium term, physical, financial, social and environmental outcomes for farm businesses. Through the delivery of an experiential “learning journey”, using multidisciplinary facilitation teams to build strategic management plans led to improved strategic decision-making and business performance. Reported here is a range of benchmark performance indicators, which were unavailable at IFMA 21 – where attitude changes and plans to adapt and or transform farming practices were evident. Subsequent analysis indicates participants in the program show lower operating costs, improved return on capital, better operating profits/Ha, and improved indicators of ‘resilience’. The shift in performance is in areas potentially most affected by climate change – the low and medium rainfall areas of Western Australia. Compared  to other modes of farm management training, manifest here are the indications of practice change and the benefits of a facilitated learning journey to build capacity and innovation through strategic planning.  There are clear implications for Government policy.

BIOGRAPHY

John Noonan is experienced in teaching agriculture, agribusiness, farm management and science at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels and has consulted, taught and led training across a number of disciplines in Asia, Australasia, the Middle East and North America. John is a grandaunt in Agricultural Science majoring in Agricultural Economics, he also has post graduate qualifications in Education, Agricultural Extension and Natural Resource Management. Currently, in addition to teaching undergraduate agribusiness, delivering industry short courses and leading agricultural extension and outreach programs, he is preparing a PhD dissertation by supplication on the nexus between ‘wicked problems’, strategic management and planning and the adoption of innovations by farmers’.