Murray Dairy program helps farming couple with their business.


Putting your farm figures under the microscope for all to see may not be everyones cup of tea but for Naring couple Rebecca and Andrew Phillips, becoming involved in Murray Dairy’s farm focus initiative has been the best thing they could have done for their business.


“Production has increased, I’m feeding the cows better and when you have got 20 people telling you how to run your farm, you certainly listen, “Andrew said.


“All the ideas that have come to us through the group we have pretty much done. Becoming a focus farm has given me confidence and the people and resources to know I can do it.”


Andrew and his wife Rebecca moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1998 and began the path to farm ownership through vendor terms. They officially took over their 129ha farm in 2001.


“There was more opportunity for us for farm ownership in Australia,” Rebecca said.


The couple don’t mind admitting they have made a few mistakes along the way which have cost them financially but they say one of the best things they could have done was become a focus farm and join the Feeding Pastures for Profit Program.


“I am improving my skills set which was not as good as I first thought it was, and I am making huge progress. Confidence is a big thing and looking at risk and opportunity to move my business forward is a huge thing,” Andrew said.


The cows are milked off a feed base of 45ha of permanent pasture – other pasture sown or to be sown include summer active lucerne and shaftal and rye in the autumn.


Currently the couple milk a 300 split calving herd but one of the question they are exploring is stocking rates and whether or not they are milking too many cows.


“We are looking at whether we destock and improve our equity,” Andrew said.


With a young family of four kids Micheal, Bianca, Anneliese and Emily – the Phillip’s are also striving to achieve a better work-life balance and employment of a full time worker is another goal they hope to achieve.


Both Andrew and Rebecca grew up on family farms and they both agree running their own farm was always their major goal.


“I have been my own boss since I was 19 years old and there is nothing else I was ever going to do but milk cows,” Andrew muses.david campbell_031_-_Copy


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