Face-to-face with FOA in 2021!

Before we get too close to Christmas (my gosh hasn’t this year has flown despite spending so much time at home?!) I wanted to sit down again with Greg Johnsson, Co-Founder of Farm Owners Academy (FOA) to discuss what is on their radar for 2021 and how the Farm Table family can be involved in the exciting things they have planned.

Although 2020 saw the postponement of their in-person flagship event, the TOP Producers Program, their team has continued to grow and they have continued to positively impact producers across the country through the delivery of other programs including Take Control, Farm Financial Framework and the Platinum Mastermind (nb. You can find links to our previous interviews with FOA this year about these programs at the end of this article).

We were keen to chat with Greg about FOA’s plans on resuming the TOP Producers Program 2-Day Workshop next year as Hughie and I were so excited about attending this year and are hoping they are still planning to run it in 2021!

We hope you enjoy our discussion and reach out if you have any questions about Farm Owners and what they offer.

Greg Johnsson, Co-Founder of Farm Owners Academy

Greg, so nice to catch up! What a year?! Can you introduce yourself to our community please?

Good morning Airlie, and great to chat to you again. Yes, it has certainly been a turbulent year, but I’ve also been awestruck by the amazing sense of community and how farm businesses are continuing to focus on making the best of the season and their dedication to improving their businesses.

My name is Greg Johnsson.  I have been helping farmers improve their productivity and profitability for 40 years, and run 7 of my own businesses, including a very successful veterinary clinic on Kangaroo Island. 

Thanks Greg, I’ve also seen you on Landline and in StockJournal a couple of times!  Now, I understand FOA provides a variety of great programs, but I’d really like to hear more about the TOP Producers Program today if possible, please?  

Of course, Airlie! The TOP Producers Program continues to be a core focus of ours and I am so proud of it. We ran our first 2-day workshop to a handful of sheep farmers back in 2015 and the feedback we had was amazing. Since then, our TOP Producers Model has been proven to produce results. By investing these 2-days off-farm, our attendees discover how we are helping hundreds of Aussie farmers to transform their businesses into profitable Freedom Farms.

I completely understand that the TOP Producers Workshops had to be called off in 2020, but are you planning on running the events in 2021?!

Most definitely! We can’t wait to get back to the live events Airlie!  We have now held 6 sell-out events in Adelaide so in 2021 we are taking it on the road! For the first time ever, we will be hosting three TOP Producers Workshops – in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne:

  • Adelaide: Monday 15th February & Tuesday 16th February 2021
  • Sydney: Monday 31st May & Tuesday 1st June 2021
  • Melbourne: Monday 13th September & Tuesday 14th September

What is actually involved in the Program?

Well, in a nutshell, you will walk away from the event with a detailed plan to transform your farm business from the day you get home by implementing a number of low-cost (and easy to apply) processes we will teach you.

But to go into more detail, TOP is an acronym for Transform, Optimise and Propel as these are the 3 stages we believe you need to work through to improve your business.

The TOP Producers Workshop will teach producers:

  1. How to TRANSFORM your business by implementing a series of low-cost and easy to apply systems and strategies so that you will have a plan to start implementing as soon as you get home.
  2. The steps required to take an already profitable farming business and OPTIMISE it further by reinvesting some of the profits into the right areas so that you will see how your business can further increase its underlying profit performance.
  3. How to PROPEL your farming business into a truly extraordinary one so that you can achieve the freedom you deserve in your business and life.

Over the course of the 2-days, we show farmers:

  • What to focus on to increase profits
  • What to stop doing
  • How to delegate effectively
  • How to plan effectively for the future
  • How to have a lot more work-life balance
  • How to get your business working without you
  • How and when to scale your operation
  • What is really holding you back from achieving your goals and how to break through this
  • And much more…
TOP Producers Model
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What will producers learn over the 2 days?

Specifically, some of the things you will learn are:

  1. How to become more entrepreneurial – so you really learn how to run a great business that profits more.
  2. How to read the numbers effectively and what to measure on your farm to get the best results (this is critical if you want to really grow as a farmer).
  3. How to think more like a business owner (and not just a farmer). It really is a different mindset that will make your life significantly easier.
  4. How to effectively set goals and plan for your future – so you move your business forward instead of getting stuck working on jobs that hold you back.
  5. What to focus on and when, so you learn how to prioritise and work on the highest value jobs (the $200 to $1000 per hour jobs!). If you get trapped doing the low-value tasks – you will find it frustrating and unrewarding.
  6. How to become more profitable – so you can build wealth outside of your farm and hire more people to help you.
  7. When to hire someone and how to delegate and why you need to do this if you want to run a great business. Most farmers are still trying to do everything themselves and we will show you why this is the fastest way to burnout.
  8. The best proportion of debt and equity and why too much is bad and too little is also bad.
  9. How to get the most from your flock and little one percenters that will make an enormous difference to your bottom line over the next 10 years.
  10. How John Symons became better off by $85-95k in net profit per year by applying our teachings.

Why was the TOP Producers Program created, and who is it for?

Well, eight years ago, my wife Deb and I were sitting in a Business Boot Camp on the Gold Coast listening to a bunch of speakers talk about how to be more successful business owners. The presentations were interesting at a superficial level, I picked up a few items of interest but I didn’t hear anything that really “shook my world”.

Then, after the morning tea break, something happened that had a profound impact on my life.

I met Andrew Roberts.

Andrew is well known as one of Australia’s leading business mentors, he is a Strategic Business Specialist, and has worked with a host of companies featured in various Top 100 Business Review Weekly lists. Andrew gave a presentation on how to get more out of business and life by doing less, how to speed up by slowing down, and how to ‘Flip Your Life’ from one of frenetic activity and chaos to flow and control.

Both Andrew and his message hit me between the eyes like a sledgehammer. I said to Deb “I have to work out a way to have Andrew present to farmers”.

After the event, I introduced myself to Andrew and we discussed my passion for helping farmers and where I wanted to go with it in the future. It turns out that Andrew is the son of a New England wool producer and was very interested in what we were doing as a group.

I was now even more committed to figuring out a way that farmers could experience what he teaches. It became a driving goal for me.

After working with Andrew in an in-depth, intensive coaching and mentoring program, I approached him about how we could combine our skills and develop a workshop for farmers to achieve outstanding results in their farming enterprise.

The result was the TOP Producers Program 2-Day Workshop.

The workshop is relevant to all farmers and will benefit your business regardless of what size your farm is.  In addition to the usual cropping and livestock farmers, we also frequently see many other types of enterprises from dairies to apiarists to fruit farmers, even wineries!

Two days away from the farm is a big investment for a lot of people. Is it really worth it?

This is a common objection we hear all the time, Airlie. It’s also one of the biggest reasons FOR attending the event – to learn how to be LESS BUSY!

Of course, we fully understand it’s challenging to invest two days off the farm, but you’ll learn how to work significantly smarter after this workshop. I say to people that it is the two most productive days of your year to work ON your business.

Investing two days to learn what we teach will allow you to free up at least 10 hours a week when you get back on the farm.

Plus, we are so confident that you will recognise the value in this program that we will even guarantee it!  If, by the end of day 1, you fail to see how our workshop will help you become a great farmer, we will happily refund your ticket.

What is the cost? And do you have any special offers for us?!

The super early bird offer is currently selling tickets at just $695 with a second ticket FREE.

That is under $350 per person for an amazing two days that will help you transform your business.

This super early bird offer expires on Sunday 10th January 2021 at which point the price reverts to $995 each!

Thanks Greg, this sounds exactly the sort of investment we need in our business. We can’t wait to join you at the Melbourne event in September 2021. Thanks for the great work you are doing to supercharge Australian farm businesses! Any last comments for our Farm Table community.

Just that I am so proud that my dream of transforming farming businesses and helping farmers profit more is being realised; it is incredibly fulfilling, not just for me, but the entire FOA team.

Also, due to COVID19 cancelling our events in 2020, the demand for these next workshops is huge.  I would urge anyone who might be interested in attending to secure their tickets ASAP! So, if you are interested, just go this page: www.farmownersacademy.com/event

We had such a great chat with Greg! But we also wanted to hear more from producers that had taken part in the TOP Producers Program. The wealth of testimonials is incredible and clearly show the impact the Program is having on farm businesses. We included some of these comments below.


“This program is absolutely fantastic. It’s very challenging and will definitely test your mind, which is something that I struggled to grasp. I think I’m really good at the day-to-day tasks in my business, but the implementation, the planning, and the stuff away from the business? They really challenge us on that. I’m leaving here knowing I’m going to make some serious changes, which I believe are going to be very beneficial to my business. So yeah, I could not recommend it highly enough. I’m excited.” (Cameron England, Sheep Farmer)

“When I booked this – I really didn’t know what to expect but I am so happy I attended! I got so much out of it, but the take home message for me was to set goals and focus on doing what you want to do. This is what I want to be doing, making those changes and not being fearful of making them. I thoroughly recommend anyone who is thinking about attending this to come!” (Lachie Bell – Mixed Farmer)

I would say there are so many benefits. I just don’t think anyone should be concerned about getting into an event like this; it’s huge for business development and personal development, which is an ever-evolving thing. It’s about having a good, hard look at what’s going on within the business and the planning (putting down on paper 1, 5- and 10-year goals) is extremely important. It just gives you some clarity on what you’re doing personally and in the business; knowing where you’re going and where you’re at.” (Rick Morris – Sheep Farmer)

Want to learn more about Farm Owners Academy?

Greg Johnnson and Andrew Roberts created the Farm Owners Academy in 2015 to simplify the complexity of running a farming business. Their methods have been tried and tested in Australian Farming Businesses for over 35 years and are proven to help you experience more profit, more control, and more freedom.

FOA is recognised for its excellence and commitment to helping business owners and their teams succeed. FOA has a variety of resources including educational programs, online webinars, regular live events, plus blogs and fortnightly podcasts. In essence, they have a suite of differing learning tools (both online and in person) that include everything you need to unlock the full potential of your business, and create something that makes you both proud and profitable and gives you the freedom you deserve.

  • Access their website here.
  • Find their podcast in our Podcast Library here.
  • Access their courses in our Course Library 
  • Watch their video below!