WHEN Rob McCarron transferred to Gunnedah after only 15 months in his job at Emerald, he promised his boss he’d make it up to him.
“The general manager at the time was reluctant to let me leave Emerald after just moving up there, but I convinced him to let me move back to my home territory and promised I’d stay in Gunnedah for 10 years and not move again. That was more than 30 years ago,” Mr McCarron said.
Mr McCarron has shared his story as he marks 35 years with of service with Pacific Seeds.
He cites the camaraderie with his colleagues and the work with farmers as some of the biggest highlights of his career.
Now the territory manager for coastal NSW, northern WA and the NT, Mr McCarron started work as a Pacific Seeds depot supervisor in Dubbo in October 1982.
Shortly after, he moved to his role in Emerald in central Queensland, where agriculture was rapidly expanding.
“I loved it; it was some of my best time with the company. People in general were very hospitable and friendly,” he said.
“I was working in such big, open spaces, and calling on farmers was a big part of it.
“A lot of the farmers had moved up from NSW, Victoria and South Australia and were hungry for information, and there wasn’t the access to it that there is today.”
Once in Gunnedah, his sales territory reached from Sydney to Forbes, up to Walgett and across to the coast, including Coffs Harbour to Taree.
“Our territories were bigger back then when we did not have the product range to sell compared to today – we’ve got a lot more territory managers on the road now,” he said.
“Back then, sunflowers and the Hysun range were the dominant products I sold, whereas today sunflowers are a minor crop and the canola dominates.
“If my memory serves me well, I think I was the first territory in the company to sell $1 million worth of product back in the late 1980s.
“As a result, my territory was streamlined and I concentrated on servicing the Liverpool Plains for the next few years.”
Mr McCarron said he still travelled a lot up and down the coast, up to the Kimberleys and across the Territory, which he loved doing.
“I’m still close to a lot of the people I’ve met along the way within this company – my colleagues and the farmers I’ve met, particularly the farmers I have conducted trials with over the years,” he said.
“The company should really have the motto ‘one in, all in’ by now, because we’ve really all pitched in over the years to help each other out, particularly between divisions within the company when the pressure was on.
“Aside from the friends I’ve made working with the company, I’ve also made a lot of farmer friends, particularly across the Liverpool Plains area and also in southern NSW with my involvement with corn.”
Mr MCarron said there were still lots of people who preferred to have face-to-face contact with representatives.
“[They] value having someone come and see them to talk through their options, and that’s what I like doing.”
Pacific Seeds products are produced and supplied by Advanta Seeds.