Western Pastures Farm Walk
The open day has been developed to meet growing interest about collaborative ventures in the sector, as farmers seek to scale up their businesses and improve efficiency.
Martin Clarke, Partner at ifac’s Mayo office said:
“Western Pastures is a great example of a successful collaborative venture in the dairy sector. This project came about in 2017 when a group of landowners joined forces to establish a large dairy enterprise on a block of leased land west of the Shannon. For suitable candidates, a collaboration like this one could offer a route to developing sustainable, cost-efficient enterprises.”
With the support of ifac advisory, Teagasc, The Land Mobility Service, Aurivo and Legal advisors the key stages in the process to establish this collaborative venture included:
- Obtaining the right advice at the outset
- An initial screening process - including detailed financial and technical due diligence before successful applicants were selected to become Partners in the project
- Legal measures put in place - to protect all parties
- Partners sign a lease and agree on how the farm will operate (e.g. the minimum EBI to use for the dairy farm)
- Board put in place with elected Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer for a three-year term
- Financial planning and budgets for the project put in place, with an emphasis on labour efficiency
- Financial advice provided about funding and funding sourced
- Farm plan drawn up and fully agreed.
The 2018 ICBF Dairy Performance Herd Report shows the Farm averaged 40.7c per litre with an EBI of €147— a good performance. The Partners also agreed that any surpluses from this venture will be used to pay down debt.
For any farmers struggling to make a profit before EU subsidies and curious about what’s involved in collaborative farming, this open day is sure to provide food for thought.