Home' Smart Farmer : November 2010 Contents November 2010
What the judges
were looking for:
Long-term business profitability,
growth and sustainability.
The business needed to demonstrate
and show evidence of being profitable
with growth over the past five years,
and of being both economically and
The judges sought evidence of how
financial monitoring and planning was
undertaken, and to what extent this was
used to guide and direct the business.
This meant more than taxation returns
and projected monthly cash flows but
included ongoing monitoring of financial
The judges were looking for a well-
rounded business that monitored its
past, and used this information to plan
• Clear vision and goals.
The judges were looking for
management passion, as well as written
evidence of the vision and goals for the
business. This indicated very clearly the
future of the business for the next five
years and was often found in business
dertaken by managers.
tion of new technology
adoption of innovative
s in the business was
d if possible, whether the
as at the forefront of
echnologies for its specific
as placed on what added
contribution members of the business
were giving to community and industry
groups. It was felt a Master Farmer was
a person who looked to improve their
business, and the development and
well-being of others.
The judges said that while there were
many challenges thrown at rural
Australia in the past decade including
climate change, indifferent commodity
prices, animal welfare issues, poor
economic conditions and labour issues,
there were a number of businesses
making positive decisions, growing and
thriving in their environments.
The judged congratulated all finalists
• Ability to maintain a positive attitude
in the face of adversity.
• Willingness to take a proactive view
of their business and developing their
• Capacity to 'have a go' by planning a
vision, following through and doing it.
• Willingness to work effectively as a
family, which takes courage,
communication and honesty.
• Attitude of helping others in their
community and related industries.
Pastoralists win title of
sustainability of their business,
as well as thinking outside the
square, have won Flinders
Ranges couple Warren and Jane
Luckcraft the title of 2010
BankSA Stock Journal South
Australian Master Farmer.
The Luckcrafts have run their
Bendleby Pastoral business near
Orroroo since 2000. In that time,
they have focused on improving
the environment and the
sustainability of their operation.
They have also branched out
into tourism, calling it the
'saviour' of their business during
times of drought.
Warren said it was exciting to
be named the first Master
Farmer in more than 20 years,
and that he was not expecting it
at all. When the call came
through to say he and Jane had
won, he was on a day-trip over
to Western Australia to buy
"I'd really like to thank the
Stock Journal, Bank SA and all
the sponsors," he said.
"I'd also like congratulate
everyone else that entered
Master Farmer, there were
certainly a lot of worthy
Warren put the win down to a
team effort and the hard work
he and Jane put in to their
"Jane and I are both involved
in a lot of community type
Landcare projects," he said.
"Land management is really my
passion and Jane is really good
at sourcing grants for major
"We take an holistic approach
to whatever we're doing.
"If I've got a problem on my
property, whether it be a weed
problem, a feral animal problem
or an animal health problem,
there's a fair chance my next-
holistically and do a project
right across the board."
Warren said sustainability was
the key focus of everything he
"It all stems from the fact I'm a
fourth generation owner of the
property," he said. "At some
stage in the early days there was
a lot of damage done by
droughts and farming methods.
"We seem to be the generation
that has to pick up the tab and
Warren said he had focused on
trying to get more perennial
pastures across the paddocks
and restore and repair the land.
Both Warren and Jane are
involved in plenty of local
groups including the Carrieton
Best Practice Group, the Flinders
Merinos focus group and the
Johnburg Landcare group.
In 2009, they obtained full
organic accreditation, but had
been using organic methods for
five years prior to that.
"We reckon it is a pretty
simple, low-cost farming system,
farming made the switch well
"This year we marketed our
best wether lambs as organic
and got $5.90/kilogram for
them," Warren said.
Rotational grazing was one of
the keys to making organic
"It helps manage the worm
situation and gives the country a
rest," he said.
Along with farming, tourism is
a hugely important part of the
Bendleby Pastoral business.
"It's an integral part of our
income and what we do."
Warren said Jane would look
after the cash won through the
Master Farmer competition,
which was likely to be spent on
But, he was looking forward to
getting his hands on the other
prizes, especially as his son
Charlie had recently "borrowed"
"The win was very well-timed,"
Honda ATV model TRX420TM
valued at $9500
Stihl chainsaw model MS390
valued at $1150
Sidchrome 194-piece tool cabinet
valued at $1950
PRIZE SUCCESS: Jane and Warren Luckcraft, Bendleby Pastoral, via Orroroo, have won the 2010 Master Farmer title.
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