Local business celebrates a milestone
AS MCGREGOR Gourlay celebrates 120 years in business this year, the Northern Rivers branches are proud to also celebrate their third anniversary, opening in 2014 at Lismore, Alstonville, Grafton and Murwillumbah.
Group general manager Josh McGregor is the fourth generation of the family to work in the company and is pleased to mark these milestones, thanking customers and staff.
“Keeping it local has been the key to the longevity and growth of the business, and generations of great people are what has made McGregor Gourlay the business it is today. To be able to celebrate 120 years of serving the agricultural community is a testament to that,” Mr McGregor said.
From humble beginnings in 1897, JA McGregor & Co was established in Warialda, NSW, as a stock and station agency.
Over the generations that followed, the business has become one of the most dynamic, privately owned rural service companies in Australia, employing more than 120 staff across 13 branches located across north-west NSW, the NSW Northern Rivers, and the south-west Queensland border regions.
The Alstonville branch was the first of the Northern Rivers stores, opening its doors in July 2014.
With a customer base going back 40 years, the branch has grown its ties to the local horticulture, sugarcane, mixed cropping, blueberry and cattle industries.
The Alstonville team is led by Fiona Prior, who has had a long career in the agriculture sector, leading teams in many diverse ag businesses as far afield as far north Queensland.
Fiona specialises in the horticultural and sugar cane sectors and her experience serves her well in her current role as regional business manager for the Northern Rivers area.
Fiona is joined in the team by Phillip McCarthy, Greg Barnes, Marg Bardwell and David Fry.
Phillip McCarthy is a thirdgeneration local with more than 30 years agronomy experience and specialises in crop nutrition, pest monitoring and crop protection advice, and total farm management in macadamias.
Greg Barnes has been involved in agronomy for 17 years. With a broad knowledge of all local agricultural industries including macadamias, livestock and animal health, Greg is a key service professional for local growers.
Broadacre cropping across the North Coast is an ever-evolving industry, with local farmers always looking for new crops to trial in the coastal sub-tropical climate.
This keeps the Grower Services Team busy providing agronomic advice to producers about soil and plant health, insect and pest management and plant species selection.
“McGregor Gourlay is adapting all the time to incorporate new technologies, adding many facets to the agricultural services provided and has recently invested in providing a specialist team in digital agriculture,” Ms Prior said.
“Our agronomists have an outstanding level of experience across a wide range of cropping environments, providing growers a practical, personalised approach to crop rotation planning that combines financial and agronomic objectives with long-term goals while pushing the boundaries in precision technologies.
“We put a lot of trust in the people in our branches – we are only as good as the people in our team, which we are immensely proud of.”
Regional accounts manager Marg Bardwell is a thirdgeneration local with 20 years experience in agribusiness and farming. Marg joined the team not long after the branch opened and enjoys the variety and customer contact the business provides.
David Fry is Alstonville’s newest team member, starting eight weeks ago.
Ex Defence Force, David was thrilled to join the team in the role of inventory controller and is looking forward to getting to know the Alstonville ag community.
The Alstonville team prides itself on finding the right product for the job while embracing the latest technology in agriculture.
“From chemicals, fertiliser and seed, to fencing, animal health, pet food, pumps and water equipment, McGregor Gourlay stocks products to meet all your agricultural requirements,” Ms Prior said.
“We are pleased to provide our local producers and customers complete support with the combined experience and expertise of a local team, together with knowledge from right across the McGregor Gourlay network.”
She said she was excited about the future of the Alstonville branch.
“It’s been fantastic to grow the business to the next level, and we’re incredibly grateful to our customers for the support they’ve given and the trust they’ve put in us over the years,” she said.
“It’s such a close-knit, supportive and friendly community, surrounded by a diverse and exciting ag industry. We’re very proud to be a part of it.”
Phone (02) 6625 8200 or visit www.mcgregorgourlay.com.au.
TOP TEAM: McGregor Gourlay employees Margaret Bardwell, Greg Barnes, David Fry and Phil McCarthy.
McGregor Gourlay supplies farmers in a range of industries.
McGregor Gourlay is celebrating 120 years in business.