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Sharing succession insights at Beef 2024


Sharing succession insights at Beef 2024

The failure of succession is one of the greatest risks family farming operations face, and Richmond grazier Ardie Lord acknowledges that establishing a strong plan was one of his hardest, yet most rewarding, business challenges.

 “When you start a business, having the end in sight is critical, and currently in Australian agriculture the percentage of operations that can be managed for successful intergenerational transfer is as low as 20 percent.”

Ardie and his wife Kacie, together with children Nikko and his wife Jade, and daughters Ali and Zara, have implemented succession, with a number of critical factors he believes contributed to a positive outcome. 

And come Beef 2024, Ardie will share his insights during a Rabobank Beef Bites panel discussion, 'Aligning families, growing wealth and protecting legacies' facilitated by The Financial Bloke, Ben Law on Wednesday, May 8 at 3.30pm in the Rabobank Marquee.

With Nikko and Jade having taken over the management of the operation, Lord Pastoral, Ardie and Kacie remain on-farm and continue to contribute.

Daughter Ali runs a national events company, which includes 15 employees, from the property – a covid retreat home from London resulting in a fateful romance with the farm overseer, Jens.

Zara, an intensive care nurse who is also establishing a tech start-up, is based in Sydney, and despite not living on-farm, her value to the business was well recognised throughout the succession process.

The family farm’s succession has been a successful process, and Ardie says he’s at a stage in his life where he’s happy to share insights into what is, for many, a deeply personal and vulnerable topic.

“Our role now is to mentor, and I see this as my opportunity to give back. It’s my hope that our experience can help other families, and contribute to strong farm businesses, and ultimately, a robust family farming future.”

The family has built a significant aggregation of properties across the region, consisting primarily of Brahman cross beef cattle and hay production, with Ardie’s generous contribution a nod to the key figures of his own youth.

“I had several keen mentors, including both my parents, neighbours, people within the industry – we all need mentors, each chosen based on different characteristics, and I’m very grateful for the support I’ve been gifted over the years.”

At the heart of the Lord family’s succession plan was the allowance for their children to chase their own dreams and aspirations.

“There were never any expectations placed on them, if there’s anything else they wanted to do we were always open to supporting them in whatever path they chose.”

Early succession has also refreshed Ardie and Kacies lifestyle, with the couple now enjoying perks such as time spent with their young grandchildren, working on the business strategy, and off-farm getaways to a home they purchased in Toowoomba.



Supporting the community through the Rabo Client Council

Ardie is also a keen contributor to Australia’s agricultural industry through the Northern Queensland and Northern Territory Rabo Client Council.

The Rabo Client Council consists of seven regional groups of clients, who act as the bank’s ‘eyes and ears’ from the heart of the community – advising the bank on where community funding is best allocated.

“When we first moved across to Rabobank it was clear that we were not going to be taken to the football or on any similar junket, rather, Rabobank supports industry and our communities, particularlty through the Client Council.”

“They’re values shared by Rabobank, and as a cooperative bank this is what I believe sets it apart – without having to answer to shareholders there’s a lot more opportunity to direct funds straight into our communities, and it’s great to have a seat at the table thanks to the Rabo Client Council.”


Connecting at Beef 2024

With Beef 2024 just around the corner, Ardie is looking forward to catching up with friends from across the industry, and the country.

“I’ll be heading there with Kacie, Nikko and Zara, and it’s always a great environment for networking and picking up bits of information – as well as spending time with people you don’t have an opportunity to see regularly.”

To register for the Rabobank Beef Bites 'Aligning families, growing wealth and protecting legacies'  on Wednesday, May 8 at 3.30pm contact your local branch manager.