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Banking on KLR

Grahame Rees - Saturday, December 07, 2013


BANKING ON KLR

Too often, as livestock producers, we focus on the day to day running of our business and before we realise it is time for the annual bank review. So how do bank managers perceive KLR and how can this knowledge assist us? These questions were answered at a KLR Marketing information day held in Armidale in northern New South Wales on the 26th November.

Approximately 60 people, from as far away as northern Queensland, attended the event where Grahame Rees, Rod Knight and Jim Lindsay discussed the three main principles of grass, money and livestock. Mastermind members sat alongside farmers who had only recently heard of KLR and four of the major agribusiness banks, CBA, NAB, Westpac and Rabobank, were represented.

Jon Spilsbury, from NAB in Armidale, was invited along by some of his clients who are Mastermind members and he found the day to be very enlightening. “We traditionally see clients focusing on improving production but after listening to the segment on grass I can see the advantages of improving pastures and focusing more on what the animals have to eat” he said.

 Jon also has a family farm at Ben Lomond and he and his clients were particularly interested in Jim’s presentation on stock handling. Many questions were asked of attendees as to how they found this technique put into practice. The idea of working livestock in a different manner to improve the bottom line was a common thread of interest for participants of the day.

Andrew Kidd, from Westpac Agribusiness in Tamworth, attended after hearing of KLR success stories. He also brought along two clients who he thought would benefit from the day and all were very impressed. “I would encourage all my graziers to do the KLR course”, he said. “The ability and discipline to set aside profit, which can be used for debt reduction, is invaluable. I also think that working out agistment rates and cost of carry, being in a breeding herd or trade, is the key to clients understanding their own business, which in turn helps communication with their bank manager”. 

Jon Spilsbury agreed with the sentiment. “Anything that makes farmers look at their costs is good. It may not suit the mindset of all my clients but and I would recommend they all look into doing a KLR school” he said.

Other bank managers were happy to understand more about their KLR clients and found clarification in terms such as “cost of carry”. The general consensus from bankers was that if their clients can come to them with a budget, some sound financials and a good grasp of what their business costs are, then this can only be a positive step forward. Rod, Grahame and Jim are currently putting together a bank package that will assist producers in providing this information.

Communication and understanding are the cornerstones of good business so when it comes time for the annual review talk to your bank manager about KLR and make a real difference to how your operation is perceived.

This article was collated and written by Mandy McKeesick, Coolatai. NSW

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