How to find and keep good staff: Farm Business Updates

Author: | Date: 07 Feb 2019

image of susan mcdonnell
GRDC Grower Relations Manager North Susan McDonnell says the GRDC Farm Business Updates have been developed to help grain growers manage farm businesses in increasingly challenging economic and climatic conditions. Photo GRDC.

Quality staff are at the heart of every successful agribusiness and finding out how to attract, retain, pay and train an on-farm team will be one of the key presentations at the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Farm Business Updates next week.

These Updates are being held in Dubbo, Moree and Toowoomba and are designed to give grain growers relevant advice and insights into effective farm business management.

Human resources specialist Liz Jamieson from Rimfire Resources is one of the guest speakers and will explain how to effectively manage the core elements of employing staff, such as attraction, retention, remuneration, safety, compliance and training.

She will also offer growers information about the legal requirements of employers under Fair Work legislation, along with how to assess remuneration fairly and provide workplace training and planning.

In keeping with the theme, experienced agribusiness consultant Ken Solly will explain how people are the number one profit drivers, in all business enterprises.

“A lack of profit is, most of the time, not due to technical or production issues. More often, it is a people problem,” Mr Solly said.

“Effective farm managers and owners understand and have a strong focus on their key performance indicators and what drives them. They manage resources well, have a good support team, are capable of monitoring and analysing skills and, importantly, are effective planners.”

GRDC Grower Relations Manager North Susan McDonnell said the Updates had been developed to help grain growers manage farm businesses in increasingly challenging economic and climatic conditions.

“Growers understand operational efficiencies are key to offsetting the challenges of issues such as rising production costs and increasing climate variability,” she said.

“As a result, they are now putting more emphasis on strategically managing inputs, storage, business structure and ultimately farm profitability.

“The GRDC Farm Business Updates are about providing them with relevant information and expert insights to help inform their decision making when it comes to farm management.”

Other topics on the 2019 GRDC Farm Business Updates agenda include:

  • On-farm grain storage investment and marketing – the planning, management and economics.
  • Developing a more resilient farm business and managing the risks associated with a variable climate– through farming systems, financial management, on-farm operations and decision making.

The Updates will be held on:

February 12– Dubbo: Taronga Western Plains Zoo, New South Wales

February 13 – Moree: AnyOccasion@TheMax, New South Wales

February 15 – Toowoomba: City Golf Club, Queensland.

For a full list of speakers and topics, or to register, contact or 0438 416 176 or go to

Contact Details


Toni Somes, GRDC
0436 622 645

GRDC Project code: ORM00013