Tauranga HR company Teaming Up hopes to connect accountancy firms with farmers in an economic development project that could generate millions of dollars.

The company spearheaded the Beyond Reasonable Drought inaugural road shows in the Bay of Plenty and East Coast last month, which attracted nearly 1000 people.

Marlborough sheep and beef farmer Doug Avery, who was on the brink of disaster 15 years ago after consecutive droughts, presented the seminars. He overcame adversity by adopting a scientific approach to agriculture and introducing deep-rooted, drought-tolerant lucerne. He employs six full-time staff, including son Frazer, and his business is a profitable operation that promotes high-reward, low-impact farming.

He hopes to take the roadshow nationwide with Teaming Up directors Ant Lagan and Karyn Abery.


The road show concept indirectly started because Xero software had changed accountancy, he says.

"We deal with a lot of accountancy firms. It's my opinion that Xero has actually reduced business owners' reliance on accounting firms for basic compliance work."

"So we are encouraging the accounting firms we work with to show their clients how to make money not just count it."

Farmers would need financial assistance if they decided to use Avery's systems, Abery says. "Accountants can get involved and help farmers assess their exposure. "They can show them ways of financing the change, so really there are a lot of areas that the accounting firms can help."

Financial gains could be significant, Lagan says.

"If over the next 15 years Doug Avery's systems were adopted by only 500 other sheep and beef farmers that would be increased earnings of $250 million across New Zealand. The economic trickle-down effects for New Zealand are huge."

Beef and Lamb New Zealand CEO Scott Champion says the roadshow is a good fit with its philosophy and emphasis on providing programmes for farmers.

Avery is a powerful speaker and his message is not just about lucerne but business and personal management, he says.


"It links very nicely to some of our other initiatives including the 600 farmers who have subscribed to a text messaging service about lucerne."

Connecting different parts of agri business is also important, he says.