This study aimed to identify the top performing and the bottom performing family farm businesses based upon business performance, and then compare and contrast the perceptions and attitudes towards acquiring management skills and attributes that lead to improved business performance. Using extensive interviews data were obtained from 200 family farm businesses from New South Wales and Victoria covering a range of enterprises. The key findings were, firstly, that for all farmers the maintaining of a stable family relationship was of paramount importance in the running of the farm business. Secondly, that the Top 20% of farmers had high levels of self-efficacy and thus possessed the capability and the competence to perform tasks successfully. High performers also were more committed to the creation of long-term wealth and viewed business skills as a higher priority for training. Low performers were more highly committed to the farm's environmental health, placed a greater emphasis on production and sustainability for training and were more likely to give a lower priority to business issues. Both groups agreed that formal training that involved practical farmers with education skills providing them with tailor-made modules were best suited to their personal learning needs. The consistently high priority of family and business issues suggests that the opportunity exists to integrate the training of attitudes and skills with family, sustainable business practices and community issues. The study was funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.