Economist Saul Eslake to headline farm business forum

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 23 Jul 2013

Keith Pengilley

Leading economist and financial commentator Saul Eslake will headline a farm business forum in Launceston next month.

Mr Eslake will be keynote speaker at a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Farm Business Update on August 13.

He will discuss the local, national and global economic outlook and the potential impact on Tasmanian agriculture.

The Farm Business Update will be attended by Tasmanian farmers and their advisers and service providers looking to further their understanding and appreciation of the many facets of managing a farm business.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley, of Conara, says the forum will feature a line-up of expert speakers who will offer insights into some of the key farm business issues.

“The GRDC’s Farm Business Updates are aimed at increasing grower and adviser understanding of and capacity in farm business management, which is a critical part of any farming enterprise,” Mr Pengilley said.

“The forum, which is being supported by several research, education and farming organisations, is open to all Tasmanian farmers and their service providers so I encourage anyone with an interest in agriculture in this State to get along.”

A highlight of the day will be a presentation by Afterburner corporate trainers who will demonstrate how the decision-making principles of fighter pilots can be applied to business. Afterburner was founded in 1996 by James D Murphy, a US Air Force fighter pilot who realised the applicability and value to business of the tools he learned in the “zero tolerance for error” world of military aviation.

Achieving economies of scale in successful, vibrant family farming businesses is a topic to be discussed by Nuffield Scholar and farmer John Gladigau, while opportunities for farm business growth, enterprise expansion and complementary enterprises will be explored by Paul Bennett from DairyTas.

ORM’s Phil O’Callaghan will look at how outside advice can be turned into profit, Mike Krause of Applied Economic Solutions will dissect the factors that must be considered by growers and advisers to ensure farming businesses remain profitable, and business structures, cash flow management and tax effective debt reduction will be topics tackled by Brian Wibberley of Wibberley Chartered Accountants.

The day will conclude with Dennis Hoiberg from Lessons Learnt Consulting discussing practical strategies to being a resilient farmer.

The event is supported by Partners in Grain, Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association, Southern Farming Systems, Rural Business Tasmania, Horticulture Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia, DairyTas, Sheep Connect, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, Nuffield Australia, Ag Institute Australia and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

The Update will be at The Tramsheds, Launceston, from 8.30am to 4.30pm, with catering provided (pre-registration is preferred for catering purposes).

For a detailed program and to register for the event please visit or or by contacting ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email


Caption: GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair, Keith Pengilley, of Conara, says the Farm Business Update will feature a line-up of expert speakers who will offer growers and advisers insights into some of the key farm business issues.

For Interviews

Keith Pengilley, GRDC Southern Panel
0448 015539


Gavin Beever, ORM
(03) 5441 6176


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

GRDC Project Code ORM00001

Region South