Award for Omakau farmer

Jan Manson
Jan Manson
Omakau farmer Jan Manson has been awarded the 2012 Rabobank business development award for her project to reposition her farming operation for future expansion.

Mrs Manson received the award at the executive development programme graduation dinner, which celebrated the latest business management thinking in agriculture.

This year, 29 primary producers from Australia and New Zealand completed the programme, which was designed to equip farmers with the commercial management skills to grow and develop their business.

Mrs Manson's project focused on identifying and analysing a range of potential opportunities to grow her family business, Inverdeen Farms Ltd, sustainably into the future.

"Before attending the executive development programme we were at the crossroads, weighing up our options to either sell the property and exit the industry or reposition ourselves for future growth.

"Once we had made the decision to continue and grow our business, attending the programme was a very conscious business decision, to equip us with the skills and confidence to transition our business into the future," she said.

Mrs Manson and husband Andrew own and operate 380ha, leasing a further 655ha in Central Otago.

Their core business is winter grazing of about 5000 dairy cows, which they run on fodder beet - a high-yielding crop under pivot irrigation.

To complement their operation, they supply 300 service bulls to the dairy industry, as well as bull beef and beef stock finishing.

The Mansons began farming in 1997, building up their operation by leasing land and strategically purchasing and selling properties.

"We have always had to do things a little differently to grow and expand our business.

However, we knew that to take the business to the next level, we needed to invest in our communication skills and take a more calculated approach when developing and implementing our strategy," she said.

Their resulting business strategy was to sell some land and convert the remaining area to dairy.

Dairy would become their core business and they now had the right structure and plan in place to develop and expand their business, she said.

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