Elders Express - October 2016

Elders Peterborough’s branch manager, Tim Taplin has been recognised with a national One Elders award for operational performance following his outstanding leadership within the branch and local community.

Having been with Elders for five years, Tim has been known to go the extra mile for the team and his clients, often drafting sheep or cattle on the weekends and presenting the best possible options for clients and the sale of their stock.

Tim organised the first on-property Far North Lamb Sale, where vendors from the district trucked sheep from numerous stations to a central selling point at Yunta, saving the cost of trucking stock to the selling centres. With this saving, clients were able to receive ‘on-farm’ equivalent prices for spring lambs.

“It’s good to be recognised for hard work and the award is a boost for the branch, because it’s a team effort,” Tim said.

Tim says he personally feels as though he has the best clients and team in the company.

The Peterborough branch has recently taken over the Hawker region and has expanded the team with a dedicated roving farm supplies rep, Angus Barnden.

Elders’ area manager, Jason Kirk says “Tim always goes the extra mile and makes the ultimate sacrifice for his clients and his team.”

“Branch managers essentially wear two hats; a sales person and a leader for the team. Tim has clients that love him and a team that is engaged and continually learning because of the time he takes out of his schedule to ensure they are getting the skills they need to be able to service clients,” he said.

“Tim always presents clients with the options to market their stock and receive the best prices possible, he’s brought the Peterborough branch back to life and sees the value in regularly visiting clients – even dropping in to stations with a fresh loaf of bread and the newspaper,” Jason explained.

Colleen Grove-Jones, Elders Peterborough’s sales support officer said she was thrilled when Tim won the award as it showed recognition for the work that he does beyond what is expected of him.

“Tim has encouraged and mentored us into doing the absolute best we can and acknowledging the fact when reached,” she explained.

The Peterborough branch team praise Tim for always having his door open, and willing to lend an ear or provide advice if asked.

All recipients of Elders monthly national operational performance awards will be invited to attend the annual One Elders awards later this year in Adelaide and will be eligible to win the overall award for 2016.

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This month, agronomists from across the network kicked off a partnership with Incitec Pivot to trial several different fertiliser products on selected client’s properties and evaluate their performance in the paddock.

The trial program is an excellent way of promoting the knowledge and benefits of engaging with an Elders agronomist and introduce the client to quality fertiliser. It is another example of our focus on adding value to our client operations as opposed to simply selling a product.

Noel Jansz, Elders Bairnsdale, is already seeing strong results from his trial sites and says that trials like these help to change client’s from what they’ve always done out of habit, to a more effective method and product.

“For some clients in my area, it’s about what their family have always done in the past regarding fertiliser applications,” says Noel.

“These campaigns show that with soil testing and fertilising with the right products applied they are able to produce more dry matter for grazing, hay and silage production,” he says.

The trials also provide an avenue for new business by giving agronomists a chance to prove the value of their work before the clients are paying for service.

“Trails like this get us out on farms where we might not currently be doing any business,” says Noel.

“For example, this trial I conducted is with an Elders client who does general merchandise and livestock but only minimal fertiliser,” he says.
Elders Albury agronomist, Chris Toohey, says that he has received great feedback from clients who can see the results for themselves.

“Many clients were surprised by the results and are subsequently keen to look at their pasture nutrient programs more intensively and it has opened their eyes up to the complexity of getting a pasture nutrient program right,” he says.

Staying innovative in the field and continuing to challenge existing practices is a key focus to ensure Elders are able to deliver premium agronomic advice that is evolving with client needs and developments on the market.

“Initiatives like this demonstrate how Elders can add value and keep relevant to the client so it’s not always about competing dollar for dollar against competitors, but about providing an outstanding technical offering,” says Noel.
In agreeance, Chris says that innovation helps demonstrate your willingness to go the extra mile for your clients regardless of costs.

“Clients really appreciate the effort put into trial work and are then able to see other, such as price and margins, become more and more insignificant.”

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Elders Gatton’s Jason Blackwood has been commended with a national safety award for his recent involvement in Elders’ latest Stand Up Speak Up campaign.

Jason, a pink shirted agronomist, husband and father of three, shared his story with the network following the shock news of being diagnosed with stage four metastasised melanoma to numerous parts of his body.

“The process of filming the video was an interesting few days and something I hadn’t experienced before, it was very unique and gave me a different perspective,” Jason said.

Jason explained that he has always been fairly open about his story and encourages people to look after themselves.

“I don’t believe I can cure the world, but we get very busy in our day to day lives and we forget to look at ourselves – and we are the most important asset we own,” he said.

Jason presented his story at the Northern Zone Agronomy conference and the message was so profound that 100% of attendees downloaded the Sun Safety app whilst at the event.

Elders’ North Zone General Manager, Greg Dunne said the amount of people that have gone and had skin checks, including himself, since Jason told his story is fantastic.

“Jason’s attitude and work ethic is unquestionable given what he has gone through and this is a credit to his, his family and work colleagues at Gatton who have supported him throughout the process,” Mr Dunne explained.

“For anyone to stand and speak with such openness and honesty in what can only be described in a very tough time in his personal life to ensure all staff get such an important message, speaks volumes about the character of the individual.”

Elders’ general manager financial services, Liz Ryan, made skin checks available for all Elders’ district banking managers as part of the National Banking Conference and since the Stand Up Speak Up video there has been at least one individual who received an early diagnosis following a skin check promoted by Mr Blackwood’s story.

Jason’s safety award provides the opportunity to attend the Elders annual awards night in Adelaide this December, and put him in the running to win the overall national safety award amongst other high-performers from across the country.

The Stand Up Speak Up video can be viewed here.

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Braham Week 2016

The team outdid themselves this year, delivering $5,583,000 in gross earnings. With 58% of the total draft, and 482/483 Elders bulls sold to average $11,583, it is clear we have great representation in the region, and we continue to get results for our clients. This result is a reflection of ongoing hard work from everyone in the North from animal health through to support on auction day.

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Plant Genetics Filming

With Elders Technical Services going from strength to strength in the field, its ongoing Elders Plant Genetics project is preparing for its official launch this financial year. Elders Plant Genetics is an R&D program focused on improving productivity in Australian agriculture by breeding new genetic material. It is an ongoing process, with a number of varieties having been in development for over 12 years.

In preparation for promotion, filming for the program took place in Westmere, Victoria this month during the Southern Zone Farming Systems event. Elders Plant Genetics Program is another example of the business’ focus on finding innovative solutions to client’s needs and being leaders in the field of agronomic excellence.

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Ian Parker Celebrates 60 Years with Elders

Ian Parker celebrated 60 year this month with Elders. Starting out working as a clerk before moving to livestock and branch manager, he continues to be a respected livestock agent in East Gippsland. To recognise his achievement, staff, as well as present and past clients, held a dinner for him.

Indonesia Australia Partnership Program Short Courses

Elders Indonesia employee Syari Wulaningsih and Krisna Aris recently took part in the Indonesian Australian Partnership Programme (food security in red meat and cattle sector) which allows industry people from Indonesia to attend a six week short couse in Australia through TAFE.
Students learn theory and practice in areas from waste water treatment and lab testing to animal welfare and carcass grading. The knowledge and experiences gained are giving staff an opportunity to further upskill, and are contributing to a stronger workforce within the Elders Indonesia beef business.

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White Suffolk Ram Record

Elders sold a record price White Suffolk Ram on behalf of their clients Anden this month, fetching an exceptional $68,000. Massive pat on the back to Ross Milne and the Elders Livestock team for their hard work on sale day.

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Mildura and Loxton join forces to bring ladies together for seasonal planning

Elders’ Mildura and Loxton branches have joined forces this month to develop a Ladies Afternoon with the aim of connecting women in the area, sharing knowledge about cropping and ensuring they are able to make fully informed decisions is seasonal planning. The event is one of the latest sessions directed purely at women, and is a demonstration of the ways our Technical Services teams are going above their day to day roles and thinking outside the square to educate their clients rather than just sell product.

Talitha Gollan was the brains behind this particular event and says the event provided women the opportunity to better educate themselves on grain and pulses giving them the ability to budget and plan more efficiently in their daily operations.

“The afternoon was really just an opportunity for our female clients to gain a basic understanding of what is happening out in the paddock in an environment where they feel comfortable asking questions,” said Talitha.

“Women often play a huge role in the on-farm decision making but because they’re not out in the field, they often miss out on education sessions or the chance to increase their knowledge and connect with other farmers,” she said.

“There’s a lack of knowledge around nutrition and crop requirements so our main focus this year was on arming women with information about these issues that they can take home and use to plan more effectively for next season.”

Another important element of the afternoon was the ability it had to bring women from the area together. Often on busy farms with family commitments, women can somewhat be restricted in their interaction with other grain farmers, so the day offered an important opportunity to connect.

“We received a lot of positive feedback about how much these women enjoyed coming together to share their experience and knowledge,” said Talitha.

“As agronomists it also gives us the chance to get to know clients. In our roles, your business is only as strong as the relationships you build, so holding an event like this and learning more about my client’s needs is really beneficial.

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Mark Pain wins award for over 20 years of client commitment

Elders’ Mark Pain has been recognised with the company’s award for sales performance whilst in the role of acting north zone banking manager, for his commitment to client relationships.

With more than 20 years’ experience with Elders, Mark is well-known for his commitment to his clients and maintaining relationships. Mark’s persistence and customer focus has delivered strong financial rewards for the company and highlights his on-going commitment to the business.

Mark says it is a great feeling to be recognised and very satisfying to know that his hard work is appreciated.

“Farming is challenging in its entirety, it may be drought, it may be floods, it may be your competitors that bring the challenges. I find if you just keep doing all the right things, and look after your clients, then the rest will sort itself out,” he said.

Mark also explained that within his business, it is all about integrity, trust, and understanding.

“My advice to our team is; do not give up, even when it is tough. Do not stop trying to help your clients, and most of all enjoy what you do, and you will enjoy what your customers do,” Mark said.
Elders’ North Zone General Manager, Greg Dunne says Mark continually demonstrates his dedication to clients and sets an excellent example for the team.

“Mark is invested in his community and is always achieving exceptional results for his clients and the business. Each challenge he is presented with, he carefully navigates through to provide his clients with the best possible outcome,” Mr Dunne said.

“Relationships are incredibly important and Mark gives clients and stakeholders the confidence necessary and actively contributes to all sectors of the business.”

All recipients of Elders monthly national operational performance awards will be invited to attend the annual One Elders awards later this year in Adelaide and will be eligible to win the overall award for 2016.

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The Elders Mentoring Program is open for applications!

Now in its second year, the Elders Mentoring Program is calling for applications from all employees within the network to be part of the program as either a mentor or a mentee.

The Mentoring Program is designed to support the personal and professional development of our employees. This is an internal program which matches experienced mentors with mentees who have a specific development goal they’d like support with. The aim is to enhance leadership and technical skills across our business, and help broaden networks by connecting people.

The program will involve a six to nine month commitment and enable you to work with someone in the network who you may not work directly with, or be in your area. As part of the program you will be privileged with shared experiences, expertise and advice.

Mentoring enables you to develop through a series of focussed conversations with your mentor. You bring along a learning goal, or a situation to discuss. A mentor will challenge you to think differently or explore different approaches. Mentors will share their skills, knowledge, experience and insights and test your thinking.

We received some incredibly positive feedback from the first year of the Mentoring Program:

“The Mentoring Program allowed me to follow a professional goal to develop a proposal to better the business in a number of ways, in line with the 8PP, and extend into opportunities for experience and learning I otherwise would not have necessarily in my everyday role.”

“I thought it was a great way to be able to develop professionally and give more back to the business on either side of the relationship”

“Having a sounding board I feel I can trust that is completely removed from my management structure – its helped me to discuss and trial ideas to overcome obstacles, and also assisted in identifying how I can do my job better, support my manager better, and develop my skills for future career development”

“My match was a bit of a surprise when I first heard, but was terrific in pairing up their expertise with my growth and professional goals. Really good match.”

Further information about the program is available here.

Mentor Application
Mentee Application

Should you have any questions about your application or require additional support, please do not hesitate to contact Sophie Holdstock, Senior HR Business Partner on (08) 8425 5363, or via email sophie.holdstock@elders.com.au

This month Elders Financial Services held their annual conference in the Gold Coast with a key focus on recognising current performance and constructively planning for the next financial year to build a stronger business in the future.

GM of Financial Services, Liz Ryan, opened the conference by speaking about plans to achieve efficiency gains through both incremental improvements and larger strategic change projects. There are a number of important wide-scale marketing campaigns and activities planned for the product which aim to increase revenue and cut down on inefficient processes and projects that are hindering progress.

The partnership between Elders and Rural Bank continues to strengthen, with Elders currently managing 61% of Rural Bank’s customers. This is a significant number, showing how prominent our agrifinance experts are for the company and the importance of their role as a conduit for financial products and long-term solutions for our customers.

With the acquisition of a larger share in StockCo earlier this quarter, the livestock finishing product is also in a position for growth through our banking service. The exceptional rainfall levels seen all over the country mean an ample amount of feed and water. This, combined with strong cattle and sheep prices, creates an excellent opportunity for farmers to profit from livestock. Elders’ increased focus on livestock banking, particularly through the StockCo product, is a positive response to these conditions and one that is reflective of our focus on client needs.

Away from strategy the conference also recognised the importance of the health and safety of our people by offering health and skin checks on site, sending home the message that greater productivity comes from taking responsibility for your own wellbeing.

Liz described the event as a success, saying that the focus on collaborating constructively created a really positive and productive atmosphere.

“Aside from the strategic benefits of the conference it also provided a great opportunity for the wider teams to collaborate,” said Liz.

“I have no doubt that reconnecting with one another in a social and professional sense like this will allow us to build a better business working towards a common goal in FY17.”

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Elders is expanding its real estate offering in South Australia, with the opening of a new real estate franchise office in the heart of the Barossa.

Focusing on one of Australia’s premium wine producing regions, holiday and lifestyle destinations, ‘Elders Real Estate Barossa’ will be based in Nuriootpa and service the entire Barossa Valley region with residential and rural sales, clearing sales, auctions and property management.

Barossa real estate identity and auctioneer, David Cook will head up the new Elders Real Estate Barossa franchise as owner and principal. Having worked in the area for over 10 years, David is a highly awarded agent and is well known for his impressive ability to market rural properties, vineyards and broad acre farms.

David says he has long respected the iconic Elders brand and couldn’t miss the opportunity to transition and bolster his agency’s capacity to provide real estate services with the renowned region providing some of the best land and properties in the state.

“The Elders network is very strong and many in the area already have a long standing relationship with Elders for their livestock, wool, insurance, and farm supplies needs and we would like to see that continue with real estate.”

“We’re looking forward to working within the whole mid-north and Barossa region and assisting new and existing clients with their real estate needs,” David said.

Well known locals, Julia Smith, Stephen Thompson and Karina Rosenzweig will continue to support David under the new brand, as well as the substantial and successful property management department he brings with him, including; Shari Rakic, Nicola Telke and Stephany Allatt, and Kristy Guidera as senior administrator.

Elders’ residential real estate manager Andy Edwards says the new Elders Barossa office will perfectly complement the existing offices at Roseworthy and Gawler.

“We’re excited to bring a strong professional real estate presence to the lower north and Barossa, and look forward to working in an area with such a great sense of community and commitment to a quality lifestyle.”

Elders Real Estate Barossa will be officially opened on 23 November, 2016 from 4.30pm at the new office – 41 Tanunda Road, Nuriootpa. Elders employees are welcome to attend, please ensure you RSVP to Kristy Guidera (kristy.guidera@eldersrealestate.com.au)

NamePhysical LocationPositionService Yrs
Wayne EelesEchucaBranch Manager20
Lindsay FlavelGrenfell StreetManager Rebates10
Andrew AdamsonHorshamTerritory Sales Manager10
Neil CooperAraratLivestock Manager10
Richard EmmersonHorshamAgronomist10
Stacey EmeryMeandarraSales Support Officer10
Simon LierschRoseworthySenior Agronomist10
Thomas DennisNaracoorteBranch Manager10
Paul ReynoldsGrenfell StreetSupplier Relationship Mgr5
David GittoesAlburyReal Estate Sales Rep5
Jamie BallSt ArnaudAgronomist5
Craig SharamBendigoBranch Manager5
Karen HenessJamestownSales Support Officer5
Jarred BatesCumminsFarm Supplies Sales Rep5
Stephanie ZierschMurray BridgeSales Support Officer5
Michael NewmanAlice SpringsLivestock Manager5
Katelyn TuckBunburyFarm Supplies Sales Rep5
Douglas SlaterBunburyReal Estate Sales Rep5
Lauren BlakersEsperanceSales Support Officer5