Success stories

Karradale farms: Two expansions in one decade with Agrimaster

Join Anna-Lisa and Craig from Karradale Farms in Valley, WA, on their remarkable journey of farm management, overcoming challenges in the early years of farming.

Karradale farms: Two expansions in one decade with Agrimaster

Anna-Lisa and her husband, Craig, from Karradale Farms in Valley, WA went through very turbulent seasons during their early farming years. Given the lease model of their business, their equity position was hugely affected by poor seasons as they didn't have land value behind them. Anna-Lisa realized they needed a stronger handle on their financial farm management to turn the business around.

Anna-Lisa, guided by David Neve, a farm management consultant with 21 years of experience, learned how to use Agrimaster budgeting and drill down into details to gain actionable insights from her numbers. This helped her bring significant investments back into the business and successfully navigate tricky years. Furthermore, Karradale Farming made two profitable expansions in the last decade alone! Therefore, Anna-Lisa remains loyal to Agrimaster for its second-to-none budgeting and forecasting functionality; "I'm glad I never jumped the ship," she claimed!

With Anna-Lisa's growth in owning the numbers, David has now transitioned from being a teacher to more of a mentor. They work together on higher-level things like profitability and growth, not just cash flow, and Karradale Farm continues to grow.

The story of Anna-Lisa Newman

A very switched-on farmer and the founding Chairwoman of the local farm business improvement group WIFE (women in farming enterprises), Anna-Lisa established Karradale Farming in 2004 with her husband, Craig.

Situated in Valley in the eastern parts of the West Australian Wheatbelt, Karradale Farm experiences medium rainfall and variable soil types. Anna-Lisa shares that it is a challenging area with different risks, such as the likelihood of frost affecting the crops, tight spring finishes, and the delayed season starts at times. But it can still be very rewarding when things come together.

The years of struggle

Anna-Lisa and Craig went through a very rough patch during the first ten years of farming. Working on a lease model, owning just the operational side of the business, they could easily see the massive impact of poor seasons and outcomes on their equity position.

Although Anna-Lisa knew she needed better financial rigor to turn the business around, she didn't know how to use Agrimaster budgeting. Instead, Anna-Lisa was dependent on a static style budget that couldn't connect to her cashbook and, thus, didn't give any critical insights into her business. She always felt on the back foot of everything, and her calls with the bank were always full of trepidation. Anna-Lisa found herself in situations where she'd call the bank to request an overdraft extension but could not articulate what went wrong or that there was a bad season.

David highlighted that Anna-Lisa experienced such difficulties because she didn't understand her numbers. He further stated that this holds for every farmer: "If you don't own them (numbers), then you fear them."

From a lease model to two farm expansions with effective farm management

Over the last decade, Anna Lisa has come a long way with her financial management. David coached her on working with her numbers using Agrimaster budgeting. She soon reached a level where she could do the lion's share of it and maintain a financial rhythm. Gradually, David became a mentor and gatekeeper, ensuring rigor in Anna Lisa and Craig's business direction and decisions. She credits David and Agrimaster for her business growth.

1. Being prepared for future risks and opportunities

With budgeting and forecasting, Anna Lisa now knows leading into harvest itself where they'll be post-harvest. Her calls to the bank are now empowered. She no longer needs to wait until February for a bank review and already knows where her money is and her financial position.

Anna Lisa shared that the ability to project, forecast, and run the numbers helped her prepare for when the opportunity came, and she could expand her farm. She had done her projections and the budget for the next year in October, and with the numbers all done, she could quickly demonstrate her position to the bank.

2. Detailed insights for profitable decision making

Anna Lisa now relies on Agrimaster's codes, allocations, and enterprises to ensure that the business is going in the right direction. The codes easily flow into David's profit analysis and help drill into profitability. They compare enterprises, like cropping versus sheep, and allocations, like wheat versus barley, to analyze what's working and what's not.

David reiterated that the 5-year comparative analysis had helped them drill into codes and see the impact of particular investments in the business. They could then measure internal growth, do external benchmarking, and draw exciting and actionable insights about their business mix from the profitability perspective.

3. Making the most of grain marketing

Anna Lisa recently started using Agrimaster's Grain Income Calculator to do her pools. After initial resistance, she began putting in the time to use the correct formulas instead of just manually entering the numbers. The benefits and time saving from using better rigor were worth the effort for her.

4. Problem resolution in a jiffy

Like most farmers, Anna Lisa is very time-poor with little family support, and financial management is only one of her many duties. Therefore, getting immediate help is very important as she cannot be at her desk day in and day out. With Agrimaster improving continuously, Anna Lisa stated, "I am much more assured you guys can help me quickly."

Anna Lisa asserted that budgeting and maintaining a financial rhythm is fun rather than a struggle and has helped enormously to grow their farm business.

From Budget-To-Actuals reports to What-If Scenarios, for Anna Lisa, Agrimaster is the solution to all her farm financial management needs. "It's not till you use it you realize how tailored Agrimaster is for farming," she claimed!

To learn more about Anna-Lisa’s story and her cash flow management rhythm, listen to episode 12 of the Boots Off Log On! podcast here.