Case Study 1
Friday, 2 September 2011
Dave and Sandra were referred to a Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) by a local dairy company field officer concerned over the emotional impact on them of selling off their dairy herd. RFC met with them and discussed the severe financial difficulty they were experiencing and their decision to sell off their herd and permanent water rights and to work off farm. The RFC worked through the financial impact of the decision with them and provided referrals to several water brokers about selling their permanent irrigation allocation, as well as their solicitor to understand the legal issues around the sale of water.
The RFC was present at negations with Dave and Sandra’s bank about releasing security for the water sale and refinancing the remaining debt into a home loan, and assisted them with negotiating a suitable settlement with the leasing company holding security over the dairy herd. Once all that was complete, the RFC still provided support through the agonising process of loading cows onto trucks, and the relief that followed after many months of built up pressure.
Ongoing assistance from the RFC helped with refinancing and getting jobs off the farm, and included a referral to a drought funded employment program for Dave. While the farm is now inoperable as a dairy farm, Dave and Sandra have been able to stay living in their “dream” home and have stayed a part of their small local community. They plan to cut hay off the now dry land and will purchase temporary water to irrigate when the price is suitable.
Although Dave and Sandra had really worked out their own solution they appreciated the opportunity to have their plan scrutinised by the RFC and fine tuned, and were really appreciative of the “hand holding” that the RFC did during the very stressful process. For the RFC it was a privilege to support the family in such life changing and difficult circumstances, with the best part when Sandra turned to him with tears in her eyes and said “this year for the first time, Dave the kids and I will be able to enjoy a holiday”.
Case Study 2
Friday, 20 May 2011
Tom, a single farmer aged in his late 20’s was referred to the service by a relative who was an existing client. He was initially seeking assistance with the completion of the EC Interest Rate Subsidy. During the time spent with Tom our Rural Financial Counsellor (RFC) had discussions around the low equity and single focus of his farming business (dry land cropping). Following a second failed harvest Tom faced further financial difficulty receiving pressure from several financial institutions about debt arrears on machinery loans.
In consultation with the RFC Tom worked through his machinery inventory and was able to sell sufficient surplus plant to clear some debt and bring others out of arrears. The RFC prepared Tom with the information and confidence to negotiate an acceptable outcome with his creditors. At the same time the RFC referred Tom onto a number of stock firms to discuss adding value to his cropping operation by diversifying into sheep. Subsequently Tom secured 1000 ewes and lambs through a stock mortgage.
With ongoing assistance from the RFC Tom has now roughly doubled his stock numbers and negotiated the purchase of a neighbouring block to further diversify into rice growing. Over the time that Tom has been a client (nearly three years) his equity has grown from approximately 25% to nearly 50%.
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