MAJELLA WINES

Brian Lynn and his brother Tony have been growing grapes in the Coonawarra since 1968, but it wasn’t until 1991 that Majella Wines was born. The farm acquired its own winery and lured a top winemaker on board. Majella has since grown an enviable reputation for its award-winning wines.

The secret of their success, states Brian, is that they’re family run. The brothers’ children have found their way back to the business: Peter as marketing manager, Nerys as administration manager, Gerard as farming manager and Steven as vineyard manager. In an industry like wine, which balances traditional farming concerns with retail and fashion cycles, Brian believes having family at the helm makes sense, because corporations don’t have the institutional memory and ability to ride the hard times like a family does. “It really is a team effort,” he says.

SOUTHERN FIELDS

Vegetable producer Amy Field had never farmed anything in her life before she and her husband Ben Houston started Southern Fields farm in 2008. Fortunately, Ben had a pretty good pedigree – his father, Colin, being one of the driving forces behind the successful Houston’s Farm.

Amy credits her parents-in-law with making her and Ben’s 120-hectare farm in Forcett possible. “There’s no way we could have started this business without them,” she says. “At the beginning, it was just the four of us all the time. Colin and Ben would bounce off each other and Ann has always been 100 per cent supportive.”

Today, Southern Fields is Tasmania’s only supplier of iceberg and baby cos lettuce to Australia’s largest supermarket chain, delivering 30,000 head a week. After 12 years learning the ropes, the couple recognise that having a great support network has been vital to their success. “It’s given us the confidence to grow and the resilience to persist,” Amy says.

ROSE GRANGE PASTORAL COMPANY

Colin ‘Jock’ Richmond is always on the lookout for opportunities to expand the fourth-generation family farm. Founded by his grandfather in the early 1930s near Geelong, Victoria, Rose Grange Pastoral Company is now a beef, prime lamb, dairy and cropping business spread across properties in Victoria and New South Wales.

He works in close partnership with his parents Neil and Beth. Jock and Jane’s three children also show a great interest for agriculture. In Jock’s own words, Rose Grange’s success is rooted in passion. “We eat, sleep and breathe agriculture and we’re always excited by what lies ahead, whatever the challenges might be,” he says.

He also credits success to the family’s long-term relationships with everyone from staff, suppliers and processors to retailers – including some relationships that date back several decades. “We have great respect and appreciation for them all,” he says. “These key relationships are still helping us build a quality, sustainable business.”

ROBINSON GRAIN TRADING

When Adam Robinson was a boy, family road trips were punctuated by phone calls to his parents’ customers at Robinson Grain Trading (RGT). “On holidays, we had to drive by every phone box to call and make sure trucks were turning up on time,” Adam recalls.

Back then, RGT was a home office affair, established in 1981 in Tottenham, New South Wales, during one of the state’s worst droughts. “Farmers were looking to buy fodder [but] didn’t know where to go,” Adam says. His parents, who handled the barley harvest for the NSW Barley Marketing Board brought in hay from Tamworth to help locals keep their livestock alive.

RGT remains family owned, managed by Adam and brother Trent and a committed team. With offices in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, it does business across Australia and internationally. And while no longer resorting to phone boxes, the brothers still do whatever it takes to connect with customers, whether by phone, social media or in person.

From struggle to innovation on the farm

See how these agribusiness owners have triumphed against the odds.

Agribusiness innovators pursue growth

These 12 agribusiness owners are innovating and transforming their businesses.

NAB Agri calendar 2021

View our NAB Agri calendar 2021, a yearly testimonial to remarkable business achievements.

Our range of Agribusiness products

NAB Farm Management Deposit

Our Farm Management Deposit can help you manage risks in these tough times.

NAB Farm Management Account Overdraft

An overdraft on your farm account to help you manage your seasonal cash flow.

Insurance, super and advice

Explore solutions that can help protect both your business and your employees.

Important information

Target Market Determinations for these products are available at nab.com.au/TMD.

We’re ready to help your agribusiness

Have us call you
Call us
Talk to an expert