Tell us about yourself Lachie…

My name is Lachlan Lynch and I am working in Brisbane as a Senior Investment Associate for Laguna Bay. I grew up on a cattle station in North West Queensland and have always wanted to be involved in Agriculture. The life I am living now is significantly different to the one I saw over 10 years ago however it still focuses on a passion, Agriculture. Whilst I live in the city, I still have continuing involvement in the family farm. I have also co-founded YARN (Young Agribusiness Rural Network) an organisation providing networking events in Brisbane, to help connect and promote agriculture.

Why did you join the FFN Board & what do you love most about the organisation?

I joined the FFN Board because I am passionate about educating and employing young people in agriculture. I believe that the opportunities within agriculture are so diverse and these need to be promoted. I wanted to be a part of the organisation as they do a fantastic job of promoting agriculture as well as providing great networking opportunities.

What about your career…how did you become a Senior Investment Associate?

Before moving to Brisbane, I grew up on the family cattle station in North-west Queensland where like most kids in the area I was educated through correspondence followed by boarding school. After leaving school, I realised that I wanted to work in Agriculture however wasn’t sure where, so I went Jackarooing through the Northern Territory and Queensland for a few years.

Whilst I could have easily enjoyed continuing working on cattle stations, I realised that I was lacking business management skills, so I enrolled in Agribusiness at Marcus Oldham in Victoria. For a bloke from NW QLD, moving 3,500 km to Victoria to study, I was certainly putting myself outside of my comfort zone, however it meant that I gained exposure to other sectors in Agriculture, which I wouldn’t have otherwise experienced.

While studying, I became particularly interested in institutional capital investing in agriculture and was lucky enough to get a 10-week placement with the specialist funds management firm, Laguna Bay. I now work as a Senior Investment Associate in the Investment team at Laguna Bay. My primary role involves identifying and analysing investment opportunities for our investors, as well as assisting with the management of existing assets in our portfolio.

What do you think has shaped your career, or had significant influence over where you are today?

I was encouraged early on in my career to ensure that I take every opportunity to network with my peers. I have always tried to adhere to this advice, which has led to a number of great opportunities.

Also, one of my favourite sayings is “keep it simple, stupid”. I use this every day when I am making decisions in and outside of my work life. In a world where people are trying to over complicate things, simple ideas are hard to come across.

In your experience in Australian Agriculture, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the next generation?

Access to capital – I believe that the next generation needs to look outside of the traditional capital available to farmers (bank debt) so that the industry can continue growing and expanding. This can include partnerships with downstream users or existing business, leasing assets off third parties and/or attracting external capital into your business.

Social Licence to operate – agriculture is facing growing pressures from people/organisations outside of the industry (e.g. Animal activists). These groups want to ensure that we are operating in an ethical and sustainable way. The next generation is going to need to be mindful of these pressures and ensure they can meet these demands however this creates an opportunity to better market our commodities.