Seeds of Wisdom: Navigating Challenges + Collaboration In Dairy Farming with Sam Ebbett

Seeds of Wisdom: Navigating Challenges + Collaboration In Dairy Farming with Sam Ebbett

Federated Farmers National Sharefarming Dairy Chair Sam Ebbett shares his journey from a young farmer representative to the national executive chair for sharefarming. 

Ebbett provides a genuine look into the struggles and dynamics of share milkers contending with the season's erratic weather patterns. He brings to light the inherent challenges in achieving pasture cover targets amid unforeseen natural events such as droughts. 

"It's been a tough season... a very short spring flush followed by a summer drought," Ebbett describes, underscoring the unpredictability that farmers face. 

Ebbett stresses the significance of communication and negotiation to resolve conflicts between share milkers and farm owners, especially when contract expectations clash with the harsh realities of farming. 

He explains that while some difficult decisions have to be made, such as drying off cows early to preserve resources, the focus should always be on what's best for the farm and the animals. 

"Communication's key, no one likes surprises," he advises, emphasising the need for open dialogue to mitigate disputes and foster collaboration. Moreover, Bennett touches upon the potential for contractual flexibility to accommodate extreme weather events, which is an ongoing discussion within the sector. 

This flexibility could help in adjusting targets to better reflect the impact of natural conditions on farming operations. Bennet also reveals his involvement in Speedway as a hobby outside of farming, which he finds mentally refreshing. 

"It's been really good mentally to switch off from the farm... talk about everything else in life apart from cows and grass," Ebbett shares, illustrating the importance of having passions beyond work to maintain a balanced life. 

Ebbett encourages everyone to utilise resources offered by Federated Farmers highlighting the organisation's readiness to assist and the value of tapping into a supportive community. 

"Jump onto our website... our phones are always on." 

The conversation paints a vivid picture of the resilience and cooperative spirit required in dairy farming, with Ebbett providing both professional and personal insights that resonate with the farming community. 

His experiences reflect a broader narrative of facing agricultural challenges head-on while fostering growth and connection within the industry.

Listen to the full chat between Sam Ebbett and Dominic George above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova.

Visit the Rural Exchange Facebook or Instagram page for more information and regular updates from the REX team.