People as social drivers of a grazing business have historically not received the same attention as the financial aspects. However, a successful grazing enterprise is in the business of building ’social capital’ as well as financial and natural capital.
Social capital can be defined by the extent to which producers build:
- a sense of satisfaction and continued personal development from involvement in the grazing industries
- pride in their products and production systems
- linkages and networks with others who share common values
- skills and related knowledge in managing grazing systems
- motivation and confidence to continually improve their grazing business.
Producers who successfully manage the people or social issues involved in their business tend to do some or all of the following:
- share the decision-making with a small team (family or close advisors)
- be confident in the changes they make to their production system
- be members of production and/or environmental groups
- participate in technical training or personal development courses and activities for at least seven days per year
- recognise the value of holidays and ’getting away from it all’
- deliberately assess and actively manage the health and safety risks on their farm.