Charlie caught up with Dave Westbrook at Hanaminno for this interview which tracks Dave's journey from cropping farm boy, through to owning his own grazing farm and business, family succession challenges, development of his farm management skills through the Farm Owners Academy, and subsequent training as a farm business coach. Dave has a compelling and enlightening story to tell and does so in a very open and values based way.
There has always been a big pull towards the Australian nature and landscape for Dave | He grew up on a cropping farm on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia | His father helped him buy a farm on Kangaroo Island (KI) where his wife Becky had grown up and he no experience with livestock | There was a honeymoon period of 2 years until Dave started to really research and set goals and started to hit his KPI's | 'Quirky cooking' cooking resource helped Dave and Becky address their daughter's eczema skin condition with the GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) diet | The results of using food and looking at health differently was a catalyst for Dave looking at managing his farm more regeneratively - if we can heal the body can we heal land? Dave and Becky joined up as clients to the Farm Owners Academy (FOA) in 2015 and have been in the Platinum program for 3 years | Greg Johnsson of FOA had been advising Dave on Kangaroo Island prior to joining FOA | FOA is a values focused training program and Dave was able to identify his true values through the program and set a new course in life and farming with these values as the guiding principles | Life is often about finding the balance between time and money, and we spend our lives on the ladders of life, of either the ladder of purpose or ladder of ego | Dave was on the ladder of ego for many years feeling he had to prove himself to his father, himself and his community | Men potentially spend more time on the ego ladder | Dave uses the analogy of shooting an arrow to explain the catalyst for progress is often pain. There is pain in pulling back the arrow however this has to be experienced to move the arrow (life) forward | Dave is now a coach with FOA | Dave lost ownership of his farm on KI back to his father and essentially was made an employee of the business | Personal development and FOA were essential in guiding Dave through this period | He now helps farmers through his coaching with their accountability and achieving their goals. Anger is a symptom of fear | Journaling and affirmations are a big part of Dave’s life and for his clients | 'Look good, feel good, play good' is one of Dave's mantras | Win your morning, elevate your life | 20:20:20 - spend the first hour of your day split into 20 minutes sections - 20 workout, 20 meditations and/or journaling and/or affirmations | 20 education, listen to a podcast, read a book | The happy hormone serotonin is released from gut when working out | Robin Sharman's areas of life to focus on - heart set, health set, mind set and soul set | Women are more proactive in change | Farmers who go off on a spiritual journey are the happiest they have been - their lives flow. More time, more money, their families' are happy. Wayne Dye - “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” | It’s exciting to know that there are 1000’s of years of knowledge for us to learn | When I slowed down, everything sped up - a hard paradigm to break through | Always live above the line | We don’t own our kids | Children need 2 things in life - love & chores!
Episode Links :
Dave Westbook AKA @adventurefarmer
Evie and the Bushfire - Becky Westbrook (children's book)
Profitable Farmer - FOA podcast
Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton
Robin Sharmar - leadership expert