The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-03-17T07:35:57Z Podcast Takes Aussie Agriculture To the World 2021-03-17T07:35:57Z podcast-takes-aussie-agriculture-to-the-world The latest Australian podcast and blog series that is gaining increasing popularity among those with a passion for agriculture is Humans of Agriculture.  After operating without any funding in the 12 months of its existence, it has this month signed its first sponsor, national rural transaction, valuation and advisory firm LAWD.  The series is the brainchild of Oli Le Lievre, a 28 year old, Marcus Oldham agribusiness graduate, who grew up in Sydney.  From a young age he longed for holidays on his uncle’s farm in south west Victoria. This, he says, on his website, lit a fire in his belly to explore more of the industry.  After finishing school, he spent time farming in Australian and in Canada before completing an agribusiness degree at Marcus Oldham in Geelong. Today his interests lie more in the business side of agriculture working with people both inside and outside the farm gate.  He started Humans of Agriculture as an unpaid “side hustle” while working full-time. for KPMG for its food and agribusiness team in Melbourne. He says, last year’s lockdown in Melbourne gave him an opportunity to “give it a nudge and dedicate a lot more time to it”.  The impetus for starting the site was the disconnect Mr Le Lievre saw between agriculture and its practices with the wider community.  “Although it's influencing everyone, every day, I think there's a real opportunity to highlight and connect the dots,” he said.  So Mr Le Lievre set about looking for everyday influencers connected with “the whole food and fibre system” to get them to share their stories to a more diverse audience to promote a better understanding of agriculture and how it influences them.  He began with photo blogs before moving into producing podcasts and some short form video but the weekly podcasts remain the main focus Humans of Agriculture has to date recorded 50 podcasts and shared more than 120 stories including through photo blogs helped by volunteer contributors like Queensland grazier and former journalist Lucy Ziesemer.  “We've now reached over a million different accounts through various social channels,” Mr Le Lievre said.  “In terms of the podcast, specifically, we are now averaging over 1000 downloads a week. It has been downloaded in 58 different countries around the world. So that's been really amazing.”  Among those who have been interviewed or whose stories have been shared range from chefs of metro restaurants, nutritionists, farmers, investors and those from overseas backgrounds who have an involvement in the agricultural supply chain.  Apart from a six part series with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria last year to compensate for no Royal Melbourne Show, Humans of Agriculture has existed without any funding.  That changed with the signing of a sponsorship deal with LAWD.  “Every now and then you come across someone who is doing something very different and very good for the agribusiness sector,” LAWD chairman and prominent agribusiness figure John McKillop said.  “I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Oli Le Lievre, the producer of the Humans of Agriculture podcast during the recent judging of the Zanda McDonald Award.” Mr McKillop said he was pleased to announce that LAWD had agreed to sponsor Humans of Agriculture to assist offset some of the costs of production, all of which Mr Le Lievre had borne to date. Development property set for a rebound in 2021 2021-02-08T20:56:45Z development-property-set-for-a-rebound-in-2021 Peri-urban, development property around Melbourne is set for a rebound this year, according to two real estate agents and land experts. According to Peter Sagar and Paul Callanan, who are both based in the southern capital, the medium to long term outlook is very positive for development property with an easing of lockdown restrictions, a rebounding economy fuelled by continued low interest rates and easing of lending restrictions. Mr Sagar and Mr Callanan recently moved across to national agribusiness transaction agency LAWD to head up its development arm from global real estate services firm Cushman and Wakefield. Both are specialists in large scale and medium density greenfield and peri-urban development transactions on urban fringes for major companies and developers. Their primary focus will be on development opportunities in the growth corridors of middle to outer suburbs of capital cities and regional centres with transactions of superlots in master planned communities and larger englobo land parcels. According to Mr Sagar, the coronavirus pandemic had resulted in a shift away from city centres and apartment living to suburban fringes and rural residential locations as more people embrace working from home. “So the impact of COVID and working from home, and the impact of technology and the desire for a lower density lifestyle I believe has made a lot of people seek out a tree and sea change and I guess more land for their buck.” Mr Sagar said the reason LAWD added a development arm to its business was there were synergies in combining agribusiness real estate transactions with land development opportunities. He regards his experience as a land developer with major companies, an agent and valuer overlapping with LAWD farmer clients, seeking advice on subdivision in or near a town or regional centre. While he and Mr Callanan are active nationally, the main focus is Melbourne which boasts the biggest development industry in Australia. “More than a third of all land lot sales occur in Melbourne's greenfield development corridors,” Mr Sagar said. “The size of the market in Melbourne will probably mean we will be initially focusing here; and then southeast Queensland will be a logical next step for us and potentially Western Australia because it has experienced a renaissance recently. “So I would say our key activities this year will be looking after some of our corporate developer clients selling medium density townhouse sites for them on the urban fringe. Also, finding farms that have development potential and selling those for clients.” Mr Sagar said the development team had a pipeline of regional opportunities.  “For anyone sitting on a super block near a regional town or whatever it might be a good time to contact us and think about doing something with it because the market has never been as strong in that area.” Mr Callanan said from an owner-occupier and investment perspective there were strong yields being produced from some outer suburb residential assets and in regional locations where historically the challenge had been a lack of capital growth. Mr Sagar said yields of four to five percent were being achieved in some regional towns. “So you're making money by buying property providing that you can find a suitable tenant. And with this swing to regions it would seem that the likelihood of getting a tenant is high.” Rural Property Market Continues to Boom 2021-01-11T20:38:11Z rural-property-market-continues-to-boom Good seasonal conditions throughout the eastern states, parts of Queensland aside one of the biggest winter grain harvests on record and continued low interest rates continue to bolster demand for rural properties, according to real estate and land specialist firm LAWD. “Operating returns remain strong so it’s not hard to see why people are chasing expansion opportunities in a low interest rate environment, senior director Col Medway, Yass, NSW said. This year, the biggest movers in rural property have been broadacre, dryland and irrigated farms, he said. Mr Medway said on a grazing basis if an investor paid $900-$1000 a DSE (Dry Sheep Equivalent) for the land, $150/DSE for livestock and $100/DSE for plant, equipment and working capital for a total investment of $1,250/DSE an EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Tax) of $45/DSE was very achievable for a well managed business resulting in a 3.5 per cent return on total assets.  Considering the strong uplift in land values over the last five years, operating returns remained strong in historical terms. Combined with a long-term annual capital gain on the land of around 7 per cent, resulting in the underlying value of the asset doubling every 10 years makes agriculture an attractive investment. Mr Medway said commodity prices were also generally good. Despite the disruptions to some exports to China, there was a diverse range of other export markets which Australia operated in. Since its launch in June, LAWD has sold 43 properties including 19 broadacre holdings averaging 564 hectares and 24 lifestyle farms covering 11,000 hectares for $117 million. “It’s a great start and the pipeline is looking extremely strong,” Mr Medway said.  This month LAWD has been appointed to handle the sale of two significant dairy farms in Victoria’s south Gippsland region and two grazing properties in the NSW Riverina. Most sales to date have been in NSW where the team is largely based. “In 2021 we are looking at expanding our footprint from a very solid base we’ve created from NSW predominantly,” Mr Medway said.  “That will be from Victoria and Queensland first.” By the end of 2021, LAWD is aiming to have a presence in all Australian states and territories. In July LAWD had just eight staff, which by Christmas has grown to 18. By the end of January, Mr Medway expects to have another four new appointments. “We are still looking for good people who share a desire to add value to our clients by marketing and valuing rural property ethically,” he said. Property Podcast Has Australia Talking 2020-12-04T03:22:21Z property-podcast-has-australia-talking If you’re looking for the right advice when it comes to property investment, transactional services and industry insights you can now enhance your knowledge listening to the best in the business. The Agribusiness Investor is a new podcast series launched in September by LAWD (Land, Agriculture, Water & Development) the real estate, property and advisory specialists. Available free on Spotify and Google the series provides a comprehensive analysis into the rural property market with a particular focus on the best regions to invest, when it’s a good time to sell and which types of farms are in most demand. In the first episode LAWD senior director Col Medway was joined by Delta Agribusiness executive director group manager advisory, Chris Duff. In the podcast Mr Medway said despite the prolonged drought land values along the east coast of Australia were continuing an unprecedented rise due to high commodity prices and the next generation of farmers returning home. Delta Ag maintains a full farm services business employing 280 staff across 43 locations from southern Queensland, NSW and north western Victoria.  According to Mr Duff from March to June trading was restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant it had to alter how it serviced its clients. But since then Delta Ag had been able to revert back to a more normal type of trading environment. The second podcast episode just launched features two other southern NSW based LAWD directors Ian Robertson and Tim Corcoran talking about the state of play in both those regions. Mr Robertson said the market in southern NSW was being held up in particular by local landholders looking to either expand their operation for a son coming home or increase efficiencies of scale. This was in turn providing confidence to vendors knowing there were people in the district looking to buy. To listen or download the podcast click here   Australian First for the Dairy Industry 2020-12-04T03:20:02Z australian-first-for-the-dairy-industry Continuing a series of firsts for the Australian dairy industry Milk Exchange today launched Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange, a new and more effective means of trading milk and dairy products.  The introduction of Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange has redefined the buying and selling of milk and dairy products in a digital age to provide a faster, smarter, simpler and more efficient way to trade milk and dairy products.  Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange offers the convenience of a 24/7 online platform to buy and sell all milk and dairy products with the ease to ‘click to contract”.  Since October 2019, Milk Exchange has offered trading of Farm Milk. With the introduction of Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange, trading now extends to all milk and dairy products by providing a trading platform for milk suppliers, dairy and food companies, wholesalers, traders, distributors and retailers.  Milk Exchange also offers a range of optional services to support buyers and sellers in optimising their end to end supply chain.  Milk Exchange Chairman David Green says “Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange is designed to make the process of buying and selling milk and dairy products simpler, secure and less costly to the benefit of the industry as a whole.”  “It’s a three click process for dairy buyers and sellers to nominate their buy and sell requirements; accept that offer or make a counter-offer; and with the final click, the trade is accepted under standard terms and conditions. Three clicks its done: simpler, faster and smarter.”  The use of standardised terms and conditions and a standard Milk Exchange contract avoids horse-trading and expensive and time-consuming legal processes.”  Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange will be an increasingly important part of the dairy supply chain, using simple processes, efficient technology and remote access capability that links all dairy buyers and sellers and offering optional milk services to get the job done.  Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange utilises the same Microsoft software solution used by 95% of Fortune 500 companies. In doing so Dairy Trades @ Milk Exchange is able to provide the strength of Microsoft’s secure cloud-based solution which allows access to the Milk Exchange portal remotely and via mobile apps. In this way, Milk Exchange is building “on the go” flexibility, driving further cost and time savings.  “Secure remote access for buyers and sellers means they never miss an opportunity to access what is on offer, accept an offer, place an offer, make a bid or rebid on a live offer. We are also working towards direct connectivity for data transfer and ownership tracking and will consult with users of the Milk Exchange to make sure we fully understand their needs.” Mr Green said.  Over the next 12 months the Milk Exchange will introduce additional features to assist the dairy industry to manage its risk and further increase efficiency.  Since launching the platform in October 2019, the Milk Exchange been an incredible success handling almost 100 million litres of farm milk with more than 500 farmers and food companies registered to trade.  New 'strategic' property alliance a win-win! 2020-11-04T06:23:07Z strategic-rural-property-alliance-a-win-win LAWD (Land, Agribusiness, Water and Development) and Delta Agribusiness today announced a strategic alliance to provide an enhanced rural real estate services offering across NSW, southern Queensland and Victoria. The agreement will enable Delta Agribusiness and LAWD to offer a full suite of services that deliver wide-ranging benefits for clients of both companies. Melbourne based LAWD, a major new player in the land transaction, development and valuation market, has achieved strong growth to date in the NSW rural property market since it began operations in June. It is aiming to grow from a team of eight to 25 by year’s end at which time an office will be opened in Brisbane. Delta Agribusiness is a leading independent rural services company, with about 300 employees, including 60 farm consultants and agronomists, serving 8000 clients in 42 locations across southern Queensland, NSW and north-western Victoria. Its diverse rural services platform encompasses merchandise, agricultural chemicals, agronomy and precision agricultural technologies, animal health, seed and fertiliser, grain marketing and real estate, finance and insurance. The agreement will enable LAWD to offer its agribusiness transaction-based real estate services to Delta Agribusiness’ extensive client network. In return, LAWD’s broad service offering will be provided to Delta Agribusiness clients. LAWD senior director Colin Medway said the strategic alliance highlighted LAWD’s commitment to growing its agribusiness platform. “NSW is the largest rural transactions market in Australia, and this new relationship with Delta Agribusiness will provide considerable penetration into this important market,” Mr Medway said. “We are confident this strategic alliance will ensure an exciting growth period for LAWD and Delta Agribusiness,” he said. “Together, we look forward to developing the mutual opportunities presented by this agreement.” Delta Agribusiness executive director group and co-founder, Chris Duff said the farm services company was proud to team up with LAWD. “LAWD has a history of expertise in skills with its people, which provides opportunities with our farmer clients. “We have a lot of well-founded relationships and trusted advisors to combine with LAWD’s reputation in the rural property market, which is a win for all parties. “Through Delta’s extensive agronomic and advisory network and client relationships, we believe we can add significant additional value to prospective vendors and buyers through a pooling of knowledge, technology and expertise to maximise results.”   Cabot’s combines cutting edge digital with creative 2020-11-02T01:23:42Z cabot-s-combines-cutting-edge-digital-with-creative Evolving technology continues to drive innovation in the ad industry with some - but not many - leading agencies providing cutting edge campaigns combining the best of digital with creative advertising. Nowhere is this more evident than a recent campaign application rolled out for timber decking business Cabot’s with its latest deck staining application. Cabot’s Decking Forecaster app. combines the Bureau of Meteorology’s daily temperature, humidity and wind data built into the algorithms to help customers plan the ideal day and time for staining decks in a step by step process based on a six-day forecast depending on where you live anywhere in Australia. Options start with choosing the project whether it is re-coating a deck or a new bare deck. If the conditions are right it then provides details of how to prepare, clean and apply the first and second coats. Cabot’s also provides a guide to using the right product and how to go about staining your deck if you are new to it. The agency behind the campaign is Melbourne creative and digital agency HBK. According to co-owner David Hayes there are some agencies successfully combining the two mediums of digital and creative but not many. “A lot of creative agencies are doing digital work and digital agencies trying to offer creative work but they don’t know much about it,” he says. “In most cases creative agencies pay lip service to digital. And the digital agencies, when they offer creative work, don’t really know what they are doing.” HBK has successfully used a combination of digital and creative advertising for several years now since bringing digital specialist Luke Kelly into the agency. “Over the years we saw quite a few digital agencies present to our clients”, said Hayes. “They were often selling technology and expertise irrespective of whether it was appropriate for what the client really needed – and of course, in that situation, the client doesn’t know. We’ve seen quite bit of that,” he said. According to Mr. Kelly the idea for the Cabot’s decking forecast app came when the subject of the weather came up in the context of a conversation about decking. :"And I thought surely we can marry up real time forecasts and data to do something that is usable that is going to give us an equation to say when it’s ideal to be doing your deck. “That’s the beauty of being able to have both these kind of teams (creative and digital) working together. “It shows the power of being able to digest what we’re trying to say from a communications standpoint and then understanding the technical possibilities. “It’s not just about tech; the way digital departments should be run or the framework. That’s part of it. It’s more about how we are going to bring consumers in; what’s going to steer them to the best possible outcome for us. “All the marketing activity then has to flow from what’s been built. But all that has to be thought about at the planning stages, not at the end. “That’s a big conversation not a lot of tech teams like having. They just want to build. That’s fine … but you need to be thinking about what want people to do and how you’re going to market to them to make it useful. “We make sure our tech team is constantly testing new frameworks and technology because things go stale pretty quickly in our world,” Mr. Kelly says. Is this the best kept secret in NSW property investment? 2020-10-20T07:18:04Z is-this-the-hottest-real-estate-market-in-nsw Helped by a recovery from the prolonged drought the south west slopes of NSW has become one of the hottest rural real estate markets in NSW, according to Yass based LAWD senior director, Col Medway. With commodity prices, apart from wool, remaining high mixed farming properties in the region had jumped substantially in the last 12 months and were now making $5000 to $6000 an acre ($12,355 to $14,826 a hectare), he said. By contrast similar country on the northern slopes of the Liverpool Plains with the same 600mm annual rainfall was fetching between $2000 to $2500 an acre ($4942 to $6178 a hectare). Mr Medway said the “disconnect” between the two was probably due to the more prolonged drought in the north. With most of NSW now out of drought this provided an opportunity for buyers of northern slopes mixed farming properties. He predicted prices on the northern slopes would soon rise to be more in line with those in the south. “If history is any guide the market is unlikely to retreat,” he said. Mr Medway said there had been an unprecedented rise in land values across the eastern states despite the drought. “We thought there would be a flood of properties come onto the market after the drought broke but despite that the market has continued to rise,” he said. While prices were likely to plateau, Mr Medway believes they were unlikely to fall while commodity prices remained high, a good winter grain harvest was likely and there was continued low interest rates. Family farm businesses, he said, remained the main buyers. It was quite evident that many farmers were looking to expand their holdings to maintain economies of scale with many from the next generation returning to the land. Among the main property listings LAWD has under offer is Cavour, a 500ha almond orchard at Euroley, near Narrandera on the Murrumbidgee River in the NSW Riverina. Owned by Folium Capital, a US hedge fund, the farm, which has good ground and river water security, is expected to fetch about $30 million. Expressions of interest close on October 22. Another major listing under LAWD is a newly constructed goat abattoir at Bourke. Mr Medway said feral goat numbers were now rebuilding after the drought. The herd if not interfered with would double within the next 18 months. Further evidence of the strength of mixed grazing land on the south west slopes has been the sale last week of Moeyan a 625ha property located at Berthong near Young NSW, which was expected to sell for about $5500 per acre ($13,590 a ha).  While the sale price cannot be disclosed at this time, LAWD has advised that contracts were exchanged well above expectations. Rural property defies COVID 2020-09-22T22:41:22Z rural-property-defies-covid Rural property is one sector in the Australian economy that is showing appreciable promise despite the current economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. A combination of improved seasonal conditions across the eastern states and generally good grain and livestock prices is prompting strong investor interest. It is also spurring a desire among young people to return to the land and city dwellers to flee to the regions as rural property enters the typically busy spring marketing season, This is the belief of directors of new, national Melbourne-based agribusiness and land transaction and development agency LAWD (Land, Agribusiness, Water, Development). The agency, with its strong line-up of some of the most experienced people in the industry is well positioned and sufficiently differentiated from its competitors to capture market share and make the most of current market conditions. LAWD which began operations in June already boasts a team of eight agents. The team is likely to grow to 25 by year’s end at which time an office will be opened in Brisbane. Included in the lineup are agribusiness experts as well as agents and advisors who specialise in peri-urban development land surrounding capital cities and regional centres and specialist valuers. All have expertise dealing with a spectrum of transactions, valuations and advisory from top end corporate entities and individuals at a portfolio level to medium sized family farms and smaller rural lifestyle blocks. One of the main point of differences with the LAWD model compared to other land transaction agencies is the agents all collaborate on listings rather than work independently. LAWD’s team consists of executive chairman John McKillop, who has been at the forefront of Australian agribusiness for more than 25 years. As chief executive of major corporate agribusinesses Hassad Australia, Clyde Agriculture and general manager of Australia’s largest cattle company Stanbroke Pastoral Company he presided over their divestment. In the last 12 months to April Mr McKillop has been chair of CBRE Agribusiness. Other senior directors include Colin Medway, who for the past four years was the national transaction leader for CBRE Agribusiness. Mr Medway, who is based in Yass, NSW has been at the forefront in establishing LAWD, which he believes offers more flexibility and opportunities for its agents.  His faith in the new agency is based on the wide breadth of experience its agents have “over a wide range of geographies” and who have been responsible for some of the country’s biggest individual rural land transactions in the last decade. Added to that, he says, is the personal relationships LAWD agents have established with all the major agribusiness players both vendors and purchasers, domestically and internationally. On top of strong local demand for property Mr Medway is also buoyed by interest from overseas investors seeking a safe investment haven in Australia. But, he says, it is family farm businesses that remain the engine room in the market with a new generation of young people returning to the farm and looking to expand. “I think there is a new wave of young people seeing agriculture as a viable long-term career and certainly there is a run of them coming back to the land. “And those family businesses often need to expand to accommodate this growing workforce.” Mr Medway says the rural property market is as strong as he has ever seen it. “We’re encouraged by the pipeline (of demand) we have for the spring and the assets we have to take to market.” In particular, the south west slopes of NSW was probably the hottest market at the moment. As for the impact of the Covid-19 virus, Mr Medway said LAWD was advising clients it was having no impact apart from the inconvenience of being able to cross borders to inspect properties. Generally, he was finding even overseas investors who were unable to travel to Australia had trusted local representatives to carry out inspections and advise them. Also, fuelling interest in agriculture as an alternative investment was low interest rates of around three percent, which could be covered by operating returns leaving any capital gain made when divesting the property as profit. On average, Australian farmland has delivered compound annual growth of 7.5pc over the last 20 years, according to Rural Bank. According to another LAWD director Tim Corcoran, who also moved from CBRE Agribusiness, the new agency offered him the chance to embrace teamwork even more and work closer together. Mr Corcoran, who operates from Wagga Wagga, says a lack of supply and access to cheap funds is driving strong demand for property in his area and driving up values leading to a positive outcome for vendors. “It’s a seller’s market,” he says. Another LAWD director Ian Robertson, who is based at Cowra in NSW’s Central West, said it was a perfect time to to establish the new business. “It’s a great team and a great opportunity,” he said. With the LAWD model two to three agents could be all working on the same listing together. “It provides a bit of extra grunt to the vendors”, he said. We all work together on jobs. This is the only business where multiple agents work on jobs. “We’re certainly getting our share of listings. It proves it doesn’t matter what colour shirt you wear; it’s the individual that’s in it that counts.” Two other directors who have joined LAWD, Peter Sagar and Paul Callanan from Cushman and Wakefield, a global real estate services firm, will oversee land development opportunities in the growth corridors of capital cities and regional centres and towns. According to Mr Sagar, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a shift away from city centres and apartment living to suburban fringes and rural residential locations as more people embrace working from home.  He sees his experience as a land developer with major corporates, and an agent and valuer overlapping with LAWD farmer clients, seeking advice on subdivision in or near a town or regional centre to further add value and achieve the best outcome.