Written deals avoid disputes

It pays to put agreements in writing that way all parties know what to expect.

Farmer Freddy is enjoying a well-earned break from battling the elements when he hears a knock at the door.

It is his daughter Pebbles, dropping by on her lunch break for a cup of tea. Freddy is in a rush and doesn't have any time to spare for a natter.

"Pebbles, the late calving heifers have just come back from grazing. I need to get them out of the yards and down to their paddock pronto. Why don't you give me a hand?" asks Freddy, with a cheeky grin on his face.

"Dressed like this?" says Pebbles.

"Well, it's always worth a shot," replies Freddy.

Always one to think about the law - even on her lunch break - Pebbles asks Freddy if he entered into any formal arrangement with the grazier before he sent the heifers to him.

"Oh, Pebbles. You are always one to take things to the extreme. I've been sending all my stock to the same place up north since you were knee high to a grasshopper. He understands exactly how I farm, and any stock he looks after always return in tip-top shape. What good is a piece of paper?" says Freddy.

"As with everything, Dad," says Pebbles, "it is all hunky dory when the stock returns in exactly the same condition that you were expecting. But what happens if the grazier gets short of grass and can't feed them, or if the animals get sick?

That's why it's best always to put your agreements in writing. That way, you and the grazier know exactly what to expect and who is responsible for what.

"You can also set out your expectations as to how much weight the stock should gain."

"Well, I guess you have a point there Pebbles," says Freddy. "I should get up to speed rather than just assuming everything will be all right. I have heard some horror stories in my time.

"I guess I should give myself the option to visit the property regularly too, to make sure that the stock are well fed and in good condition."

"That's right, Dad. It is all about making things clear to protect yourself," says Pebbles. "Promise me you will come and see me before you send the calves out grazing in November."

"It's a promise." says Freddy.


The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document.
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