Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Geraldton Greenough - Issue No.: 501 Issue Date: 10 Dec, 2018

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"I am King of the Paddock!"

Vocational Visit to AFGRI!


Graeme Henderson is the Manager of AFGRI in Geraldton and he is introduced by our very own Douglas Bruce.

A summary of Graeme’s presentation follows…

AFGRI is an agricultural company that started in South Africa in 1923 when a meeting to discuss maize crops saw 29 farmers join to start a business. By 1930 their maize harvest was 5,400 tonnes (very small by today’s standards) but enough to give them confidence to borrow Two Thousand Pounds to build premises.

By the end of the 2nd World War they were very profitable and in the late 1940’s built feed mills and then a few years later in the 1950’s started doing develop soil analysis. They started construction of their first silo in 1953, but it took ten years to complete!

In 1963 they entered into an agreement with John Deere (US based tractor manufacturer) to create an agency in South Africa. They are now the biggest JD agents in South Africa.

By 1985 they had entered into the food business by acquiring an interest in Early Birds and Daybreak Farms who were chicken growers.

In 1996 they listed on the South African Stock Exchange, but they have since delisted and become a private company.

In Western Australia they started their operations with the acquisition of the Walton’s John Deere franchises and then expanded that to take over Jolly and Sons, Greenline, and Ratten & Slater. They now have 14 franchises in Western Australia. This is in addition to their existing operations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Congo and the Dominican Republic.

More play equipment!

"Can I have one please, Dad?"

In WA they now have 280 staff, although the hardest part of the AFGRI operation is finding staff. This year they will have 25 apprentices who they will train in conjunction with TAFE. They really want to create an AFGRI team of workers.

Thirty workers are employed at the Geraldton branch.

The building they operate from in Edwards Road was purpose built for agricultural machinery operations in 1981.

Another major challenge is technology and the world of the driverless tractor is not too far away!

The most expensive tractor on the premises retails for approx $700,000.

And somewhere in Graeme’s presentation is the revelation that AFGRI is the largest supplier of chickens to the KFC network! Are we really having pizza tonight?

Questions: From Ray ‘Boomspray’ Haynes, Pete ‘All Bleck’ Svensson, Paul ‘457’ Pirrottina, Geoff ‘Cowboy’ Watson and Lew ‘Cockie’ Hills.

Author: Grant Woodhams

Published: 20 October, 2017


Meeting Rosters
Setup & Door
Setup & Door
Guest Speaker Host
Invocation & Toast
Raffle & Rotary Cor
Guest Speaker Thanks
Fines Master
12 Dec, 18
Hugh Lavery
Glenn O'Brien
Paul Pirrottina
Grant Woodhams
Douglas Bruce
Michelle Mitchell
Geoff Wood
Jim Dillon
19 Dec, 18
Luke Bayley
Ray Haynes
Steve Muir
Kevin Watson
Graeme Bylund
Laurie Dines
Clark Scarff
Ian Taylor
09 Jan, 19
Scott Bennett
Peter Sukiennik
John Gooch
Bruce Ralph
Terry Stewart
Viki Fennell
Raj Mavath
Kim Stokes
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