Being involved in a family farming operation near Kimba and having passion for the rural sector are two factors which have helped Libby Baldock transition seamlessly into her new role as a Rural Financial Counsellor at Rural Business Support (RBS).
Servicing the Eastern Eyre Peninsula region, Mrs Baldock joined RBS in late March and is using her experience to help farmers experiencing financial hardships.
“I’m working with people from lots of different farm-related industries, from livestock to cropping to fisheries, she said.
“We also work with people in dairy and horticulture in other parts of the state - basically anyone in a farming industry that is experiencing some financial difficulty.”
Mrs Baldock married into a farming family and manages the finances in a large-scale cropping and sheep enterprise, which gives her first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by clients.
She said her goal at RBS was to help people gain a better understanding of their business and achieve security.
“We can work quite closely with accountants, bankers and the like to help people get a better understanding for their businesses and perhaps how they can be run a little better,” Mrs Baldock said.
“When you’re talking about farmers it’s not just their job - it’s their livelihood and their lives.
A lot of farmers in this region are fourth, fifth generation farmers and they don’t want to see the family farm disappear or be sold.Libby Baldock, rural financial counsellor
“A lot of farmers in this region are fourth, fifth generation farmers and they don’t want to see the family farm disappear or be sold.
“Financial stress can be really tough on people so there’s the two angles as far as helping people manage their stress and improving their situations, but also giving them the best outcomes for their business.”
Mrs Baldock said she has found her new role as a rural financial counsellor extremely rewarding.
“It’s something I’m passionate about being in a family farm situation myself,” she said.
“I find it really, really rewarding being able to work with clients in the old school way of sitting down at the table and having those discussions about the farm and the finances, people’s roles within the business and things like that.”
For more information visit www.ruralbusinesssupport.com.au, call 1800 836 211 or Libby Baldock on 0436 441 660.