Young Farmer Business Program Advisory Committee: Meet Mitch – Farm Table

Young Farmer Business Program Advisory Committee: Meet Mitch

Earlier this month we started introducing you to members of our Advisory Committee! The Young Farmer Business Program Advisory Committee makes sure the program is on track, delivering business skills to young farmers and fishers. We’ve got representatives from the Future Farmers NetworkASC of NSW Next GenerationNSW Farmers and the NSW Young Farmer Council on the committee, as well as four independent members. They’re a great bunch who are passionate about the future of primary industries in NSW! 

Today we’d like you to say hello to Mitchell Plumbe!

Mitch grew up at Dorrigo and completed a Bachelor of Rural Science at UNE in Armidale. He has been working in extension services with NSW Local Land Services in Broken Hill for the last five years.

1. Worst meal ever eaten…

Slow cooked apricot chicken maybe? Not really sure where it went wrong, but it was pretty rough.  

2. Tell us about the worst gift you’ve ever received…

I don’t think I’ve had any real shockers, but I’m not the greatest gift giver myself.. I was recently made aware that I’d given my sister the same thing for the last two Christmas’!

3. If you were stuck on a desert island – with no phone coverage – what 3 things would you pack?

As an LLS employee that is well versed in the WHS requirements of operating in far west NSW (semi-arid, so almost the desert), I’d pack my trusty SPOT Tracker to send an SOS! That and some food and beers to wait it out.

So pretty much what I pack whenever I’m out of the office really!

4. What would you tell your 16 year old self?

Time is the key to wealth creation and your biggest asset. You don’t need a steady income and full time job to start investing, scrounge up some money to put in stocks and start learning. 

5. Biggest business learning you would share with other young farmers…

In a business where a number of crucial factors are outside of your control, it’s easy to beat yourself up over things you could have done differently, if only you had known…

In that light, I think it’s important to know the difference between the best decision and the right decision.

The best decision is made with sound reasoning and consideration of all information available at the time. The best decision won’t always turn out to be right, but it’s all you can expect yourself to be accountable for.

The right decision can only be judged in hindsight. While it can be useful to look back and see what you can learn with hindsight, you can’t expect yourself to always make the right decisions, only the best decision.

The higher the frequency of best decisions, the higher the frequency of right decisions. The ability to confidently make decisions through a set process, own those decisions going forward and not get caught up in what can’t be changed is something I’ve noticed to be really important in how producers have managed (personally and professionally) the last 3+ years of drought. 

6. If we gave you $10 million tomorrow… what would you spend it on?

A farm!

As much as I love the west, I think most people hope to get back home one day, so a block near Dorrigo with enough scale to only work off-farm if I wanted to, not needed to.

I’d hope to put a bit into off-farm assets as well. This would diversify income streams and allow me to give some money away on a regular basis, not just a one-off when I got the big cheque. 

7. Favourite quote (can be motivational / funny / from a book / from your parents… whoever!!)

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

– Vince Lombardi

I can’t remember where I came across this, but as a teenager it did a lot for me learning to embrace the benefits of being a bit of a perfectionist without driving myself mad when things weren’t spot on.   

Mitch tackles a boxing glove cactus, also known as coral cactus, infestation in far west New South Wales (Source: ABC News/Western Local Land Services)
Mitch receiving his ACIAR-sponsored book prize from National Student Award at the 2015 Ag Institute Conference with sponsor Ian Macleod from Peracto (Source: Ag Institute)

Stay tuned for some more advisory committee profiles!

Past Profiles:



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