Proceedings

PR – Dairy Farm Ownership Structures And Their Management; Case Study Research

The traditional pathway of progression through the New Zealand dairy industry is being challenged; equity partnerships, ‘mega’ farms, sharemilkers holding multiple contracts, growing acceptability of career paths where land ownership isn’t the ultimate goal and spiralling land values are driving change at such a speed that much of the available information is anecdotal. To clarify understanding of this phenomenon research into contemporary ownership structures was undertaken. This paper reports on qualitative analyses of equity partnerships. The mix of people and interpersonal communication have been identified as critical success factors; when the mix of people differs if partners held common goals and their business structures and procedures enabled trust to develop there were fewer problems than if the mix was ‘right’ but trust had not developed. Differing time frames and requirements in regards to investing for growth versus paying dividends can create tension. For some people control, self-employment and teamwork issues are insurmountable and they exit from equity partnerships.

Keywords: sharemilking, equity partnerships, case studies, dairy farming, trust.

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Author(s): Bewsall, D., Dooley, L., Reekers, L., Shadbolt, N.M.

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Organizations(s): AgResearch Ltd, IFNHH, College of Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North