Are LSB's thorns in Agri business side?

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5 years 2 months ago #531677 by max2
Recently I was part of a discussion group and sat between a corporate farm employee and a larger size farm owner who has employees and sub contractors. I was asking how many times folk had stock agents visit their properties and was told us ''lsb's'' were thorns in the agents sides, thus why we don't see them.

I was a bit taken aback, namely for a few reasons but along the lines that I don't consider what I am doing (calf rearing) is small hobby enterprise, but a GST registered business. I farm 20 acres less than my In Laws did, roughly 100 acres in size.

So as this forum is aimed towards LSB's and some of you are working considerable size properties and stock numbers, I thought I would throw it open to you for your thoughts. Are ''we'' (in the collective sense, not me because most of you don't know me) not worth dealing with? Is agri business in NZ strictly aimed at larger size farms and farmers?

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5 years 2 months ago #531681 by Anakei
Unfortunately it's simple economics. Does the agent spend an hour with a farmer and get (say) $10,000 of business, or does he spend an hour with a LSB and get $1,000 of business. For him its an easy choice.

When I worked as an accountant a long, long time ago in a universe far, far away, we were advising our clients to give up the lowest paying 20% of clients,and give more attention to the top 20% of clients.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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5 years 2 months ago #531686 by Rokker
I don't see as it matters that much to the stock agents. Personally I prefer to market my own animals and build up my own clientele, but if I do send animals to a stockyard sale, whether it's 2 animals or 22, I call the agent, give him the details, organise the truck, and the agent doesn't need to come to the farm - he just does the auctioning on the day and collects his fat fee!

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

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5 years 2 months ago #531703 by Stikkibeek
We work closely with our stock agent and it's always a good out come. He covers a wide area, so I would think he treats all his clients, big and small, with the same respect he treats us.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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5 years 2 months ago #531705 by kate
I think some businesses are very dismissive of lsb owners and I think they're making a mistake.

There is no official definition of a lifestyle block but estimates suggest there are around 220,000 of us, farming around 1.2 million ha of land....about the same amount of land that is farmed by diary farmers. So we're a big part of the agricultural life of NZ. Despite this, many companies seem to regard us as 'play farmers' or just idiots :(

I am married to an accountant and understand the idea of losing the bottom 20%. However, while individually we may not be big customers, as a group we are major customers of agricultural companies. In some ways, we are very much more profitable to these companies. A 300 acre farm may buy one large fence energiser, while 30 ten-acre lsbs may buy an energiser each. Few products are designed specifically for lsbs so we're often paying for capacity we don't use.

I think the problem is with perception.. I've often spoken to people about lsbs. A common response is "They're just idiots and time wasters who don't understand how farming works". When I talk about someone with 50 acres, who has farmed for 20 years and is very successful, the response is, "Well, they're not really lifestyle farmers." So we're only lifestyle farmers if we're incompetent... So why would they want to work with us?

Web Goddess
The following user(s) said Thank You: max2

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5 years 2 months ago #531714 by Anakei
LSB owners can also be perceived as mavericks because of the way they are "farming" as is illustrated everyday by the discussions on this site.
They are more likely to be farming organically, more open and willing to try new ideas and methods, more questioning of established practices, less driven by profit (in fact that is the first thing many say to a newcomer on this site - you can't make a living from x acres)
You can imagine how frustrating it is for an established farmer with hundreds of acres, to offer advice that has worked for him for 20 years and be met with " yes but what about ...... "
For a business supplying these farms its easier for them to offer xyz when everyone's on the same page than to be constantly questioned about its whys, hows and wherefores.
As Kate says there is definitely a market servicing LSB and if the mainstream players won't do it then sooner or later some-one else will step into the niche and do it for them.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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