We live in an information age where a quick Google search, request to Siri, or chat on an AI platform can get us almost immediate “bites” or snippets of information. There is certainly no lack of information available, but as farm business management and succession specialist, Mike Stephens highlighted in his review of the 2023 Australian Beef Report, “Farm Business managers don’t need information, they need knowledge which gives confidence to make timely management decisions.”What is the difference?
Information is organised data obtained from various sources put together in a meaningful way. Knowledge is an understanding of the subject that comes from experience or education. Information combined with experience and intuition, results in knowledge.
The Australian Beef Report is prepared by Bush AgriBusiness as an independent, triennial publication for profit-focused beef producers and industry stakeholders. At first glance, it would be easy to assume that the 2023 Australian Beef Report is another glossy publication that provides more information into an already information-saturated industry. While it is true that we use our skills and established processes to collate an incredible amount of data and information from various sources in a way that would be very difficult for individual producers to do on their own, or for others to replicate, it is the end user of this information and how it can be applied that is always front of mind.
The aim of the Australian Beef Report is to analyse, interpret, and present information in a way that is relevant and meaningful for beef producers and stakeholders to get a clear picture of the performance of the beef industry and how to improve it. The value does not come from the information itself; it is how the information is applied through strategies and decisions that make it valuable. The authors and contributors are not the holders of information, they are the collators and disseminators of their knowledge with the aim of making it available and applicable in a beef business context.
To complement the information in the 2023 Australian Beef Report, we have again sought the wisdom, gained through experience from a range of people throughout the industry and collated the responses into the Pastoral Panel chapter. The Pastoral Panel was a popular chapter in the 2020 Australian Beef Report and we thought it was important to do it again in the 2023 Report. It draws on the experience of almost 30 Pastoral Panel members and seeks their perspectives on six important questions.
Further in his review, Mike Stephens highlights that there are a few big management decisions and then there are hundreds of day-to-day decisions and the success of the business is very dependent on the sum of those decisions. He says “The wisdom of the Pastoral Panel provides food for thought for all decisions.”
There is a common saying that you are the product of those you surround yourself with and it stands to reason that if you seek the wisdom of those who have succeeded through triumphs and challenges and are open to learning from them, the results you achieve are likely to improve. We are incredibly grateful to the panel members who would not like to be thought of as extraordinary but do possess an extraordinary depth of knowledge. All contributors in this chapter provide invaluable insight into their thinking and approach to business and life, and it is this knowledge that we can all learn from. We are sure there will be some Pastoral Panel responses that you will want to write down and put on the fridge or use for guidance when you are struggling with a decision or how best to approach a situation.
There is nowhere else that we know of in the beef industry where there is such a rich compilation of informed perspectives on all aspects of beef business management.
The challenge is to look beyond the information presented to how it can be applied in a particular situation to solve problems, develop strategies, and make decisions. Only then will the information become truly valuable.
Bush AgriBusiness is confident that the 2023 Australian Beef Report will help grow your knowledge and understanding of profitable beef production, and offer a money-back guarantee to this effect. More information about the 2023 Australian Beef Report can be found here.