WMG and Delta align to maintain a local focus
Since joining with Delta Agribusiness late last year, the WMG Agriservices team at Wee Waa, Goondiwindi and Moree have maintained a focus on ensuring strong local knowledge, community mindedness and that most of the on-the-ground decision making processes are still happening at a grassroots level. “We see the merger with Delta Ag as a progressive step – we are like-minded businesses with similar cultures,” said Matt Jones, branch manager and agronomist at WMG Agriservices at Wee Waa. WMG branch manager and agronomist at Goondiwindi, Troy Hunt added: “We already have a lot of long-term relationships and we put a lot of value on our customers and our service to them, so it’s been important to maintain a community focus. With Delta we feel we can maintain our local focus and our locally-based teams. “We saw Delta Ag as a strong business partner with a good growth strategy, and one that has already been at the forefront of new technologies coming through and how to implement them directly into farming enterprises.”
Prior to the merger with Delta Ag in October, WMG Agriservices had been a joint venture business with Ruralco Holdings Limited since 2013 after the merger of MacIntyre Rural in Goondiwindi and North Western Rural in Wee Waa, and acquisition of Moree Independent Rural.
“The original establishment of the WMG business came about because we were starting to get an overlap of clients. A lot of growers were beginning to spread their risk and purchasing land in different valleys, not just the block next door, so instead of competing with each other, we thought we could work together. We believe that this new venture with Delta will be a similar offering with a wider reach and the ability to further extend our offering in the relationships we now have with the broader network,” Matt comments.
WMG Agriservices provides a full offering of rural services including ag chemical, seed, fertilizer, stock feed, animal health products, fencing, produce, spray equipment and agronomy services.
Matt, who has lived in the Wee Waa/Narrabri area since 1996, said the Wee Waa branch covers an extensive area as far as 100km west, with the landscape consisting of intensive agriculture practises with irrigated crops – mostly cotton. “Our branch is different in that about 90 per cent of our products are delivered directly on-farm. We do
not have a lot of input through the actual shop.”
Thomas Schwager has been doing on-farm deliveries for more than 10 years and enjoys the opportunity to travel around the various farming properties, while John Schwager assists in the agronomy field, and Annette Jones provides support through her administration role. The team at the Moree and Goondiwindi branches also have a strong community focus. Goondiwindi Branch Manager Troy Hunt has been residing in the region for over 20 years, working for other local agribusiness companies in the area, before WMG opened eight years ago. “In our region, there is a strong focus on broadacre farming with both summer and winter crops, and irrigated crops including cotton. The main crops grown in the area are wheat, barley, chickpeas and faba beans in the winter, and cotton, sorghum and mung beans in the summer. Forage crops are also used to bolster production of cattle herds and sheep flocks in the area,” Troy said. The Goondiwindi branch, along with Troy, includes agronomists Rob Graham and Andrew Walker who together have more than 30 years’ experience in providing agronomy services to growers. Cheryl Buckle looks after administration. Brian Aust heads up the merchandise team of Wayne Teitzel who has 15 years’ experience in merchandise sales and on-farm deliveries, and Tom Biddle who is the newest member of the team. The Moree branch is run under the guidance of manager Bob Coote, who has worked in various agribusiness roles in the Moree district for many years. Assisting Bob is Candy Senior whose passion is animal health and rural merchandise and Greg Cumberland who looks after branch administration and rural merchandise. All three branches have built up a customer base over the years through their strong customer focus, taking an interest in the local farming community’s needs and having an understanding of what is important to them.