This report is intended to investigate the overall feasibility and performance of the farm production units within the University of Queensland’s Gatton Campus operations to be referred to as ‘Gatton Farms’ within this document.
The intent is to identify the individual efficiencies of the units and if possible recommend strategic decisions and risk management strategies interms of sustainability and profitability for the next 3 years.
As a holistic approach to reviewing the production system this report will also consider the interactive decision and management processes including;
* Interactions between the units;
* Impact upon resources;
* Market and sector analysis;
* Business analysis and planning;
* Sustainability practices;
* Barriersand limitations to production;
* Organisational models;
* Future direction of the enterprise;
The report will primarily focus upon the ‘Piggery Unit’ as the representative unit and review its operational capacity, management and production system. In turn, more generic focus will be directed towards the other 3 production units and their operational impact upon the overall performance ofGatton Farms.
The intended outcome of this report is to assist with the decision making and management structures of the Gatton Farms management committee in making informed decisions with regard to future viability or restructuring.
The present ‘Gatton Farms’ enterprise model can trace its origins back to the establishment of what was originally formed in 1897 and referred to asthe ’Queensland Agricultural College’.
‘Gatton farms’ is located 89km west of Brisbane and is currently under the management of the Faculty of Natural Resources Agriculture and Veterinary Science (NRAVS) which is a Faculty within the University of Queensland. The region of the Lockyer Valley is one of the most fertile and suitable land systems for agricultural cropping and animal production.The climate is hot and dry with a summer dominant rainfall of (______).
Add rainfall stats in Gatton.
The allocation of land available for utilisation under Gatton Farms is currently 1068 hectares with 25 hectares of general campus and 165 hectares of pastures, the rest being cropping and arable land. The piggery unit, a dairy unit located west boundary of the university and grazing and croppingunits are scattered all around the university (around 902 hectares) and Darbalara farm (166 hectares).
Refer to Appendix 1. Displaying a map of the university campus.
The present land layout and topography has undergone minimal physical changes although the production practices have changed significantly.
‘Gatton farms’ as a livestock and agricultural enterprise has also traditionallyprovided the dual service of providing hands-on educational experience for the students of the campus who seek the practicum of ‘Applied Science’ through the various levels of rural programs delivered by the current University and its long established predecessor the Queensland Agricultural College (QAC).
In 1992 ownership of the campus was transferred to the University of Queensland as a result ofthe then Federal Government’s review of higher education models under what is referred to as the ‘Dawkins Review’ where Colleges of Advanced Education (CAE) where disbanded and amalgamated with established Universities.
The current production units under the control of Gatton Farms are the;
The working units are divided into sections whichare spread around the campus with the labour force and system managed and regulated from the main office located meters away from the piggery unit.
The internal structure of the business is managed by a farm co-ordinator, a piggery manager and three sub managers for each individual unit. The labour force consists of six full time farm attendants, six casual farm attendants, and intermittent...