The Gibson Family

The Gibson Family

The Gibson family run sheep and beef on their 550h property at Whareama east of Masterton. The property is a mixture of flat and rolling country divided into two blocks. 

From Gibson to Gibson – easy as!

Sue and Ian Gibson live on the original home block and their eldest son Alex Gibson and partner Mel, plus four and a half month Kenzie, live on the other. Alex completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture, minoring in finance at Lincoln University before returning home seven years ago, and he says the benefits of his finance qualification have really helped now as a hands-on farmer.

The couple have already bought into the property through their purchase of a third of the stock and plant via a succession agreement. And to add to the mix, younger brother Geoffrey recently returned home for six months to see how he feels about farming although once six months is up he and partner Megan have travel plans already in place before he decides where his true interests lie.

Sue Gibson says she and Ian have been working towards stepping back to lighten their load, and having Alex and Mel plus Geoff, has helped create the space they need to consider what they want to do now.

“We are currently waiting for title on another piece of land so that provides even more options – it’s easy to think you’re bullet proof and keep on keeping on, but we’ve achieved what we set out to do and are ready to hand over the reins while we are fit and well. It’s our time to enjoy our grandchildren and see more of our daughter Alice and her husband Josh who live in the Hawkes Bay".

Sue says she switched the business across to Farm Focus early last year and changing to the new package was initially quite scary!

“There were definitely a couple of things I couldn’t get past so I called the Farm Focus Support Team for help and they were superb. Patient and very understanding, and they were able to get me back on track without any fuss. I still have plenty to learn but I’ve already found automated processes such as the bank feed option a big help. Now I find I open Farm Focus each morning and can code any transactions quickly, rather than having to do them in one lump at the end of each month. GST is also a non-event now because the information is already saved in the system. Just push a button and it’s done.”

She says while she’s still finding her way around being in a partnership with Alex comes with the bonus of having a technical and financially savvy head who will take the business into the future.

“He does all the budgeting and forward planning, while we keep an overview. Farm Focus is online so we know we’re both working from the same page which is important right now as we work across a new property.”

Alex says he enjoys the financial side of things including planning ahead.

“Focus is easy to work with and changing/tweaking budgets is definitely not as complicated as the previous package. My parents can see where I’m headed and are supportive and completely open to me making all stock changes myself – the system is great in that respect because we’re looking at the same set of figures all the time.

“I like to track spending and, if for example, we’re not as profitable as expected in a particular area I can go in, review and take something out of expenses – it’s that easy to manage. I have to admit if prices are strong, I can get lax about logging in – it also depends on the time of year and what’s going on.”

Alex says he enjoyed using the old Cashmanager Rural package, but Farm Focus is next level and will meet the challenges and changes farming inevitably goes through into the future.