Multiple objectives on NSW dairy farms: assigned importance and related satisfaction

Document Type


Publication details

Harrison, JL & O'Brien, DT 1999, 'Multiple objectives on NSW dairy farms: assigned importance and related satisfaction ', Agribusiness Review, vol. 7, paper 13.

Article available on Open Access


Dairying is a major rural industry in New South Wales (NSW). It contributes significantly to local economies through farm level activities, by generating substantial downstream employment and value adding through processing. In recent years dairy farm management has become increasingly complex with a need to balance numerous, perhaps conflicting, objectives. Farmers must reconcile their own private goals with those of society. They face intense pressures to increase production, reduce production costs and increase product quality while simultaneously conserving natural resources, maintaining lifestyle and achieving other personal objectives. The extent to which these objectives are mutually achievable may have implications for both the importance attached to them and related farmer satisfaction. Using survey data from two hundred NSW dairy farms, this study examines the importance farmers assign to a selection of objectives and the satisfaction farmers feel in terms of achieving these objectives. Results of analysis indicate both conflicts and concurrence in the weights assigned. The findings have implications for farm management, industry policy, the assessment of farm performance and for putting into operation actions to achieve sustainability objectives.