Welcome to Humans of Agriculture. This podcast series is dedicated to discovering more about our food system, from the people involved in it. Along the journey we'll be meeting people from all walks of life from Australia and from afar. Join us as we find out how our communities and our culture shape what we eat, and ultimately who we are. More people, More often, Identifying with Agriculture
The Chef Taking Red Meat from the BBQ to the Royals with Sam Burke
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39:56Sam Burke has invited Oli and all listeners to his place for a BBQ and we're holding him to it! Sam's career spans over 30 years in the culinary world. From his early days as a milkboy to becoming a corporate chef, Sam has gained valuable lessons from every part of his career progression. He is now the Corporate Chef and Foodservice Business Development Manager for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).Sam's enthusiasm for his work and red meat is evident, and he talks about the pride he feels representing Australian producers on the global stage. And he doesn't have to wait until his 100th birthday for a letter from the Queen… Queen Elizabeth II has already sent him one for his cooking!!"A producer loves to hear what happens to their product when it leaves farm gate... And then on the other side, the chef loves to hear what happens when that animal is produced… So we’re [MLA}] like the link between which conveys the positives messages… And I love that role.” - Sam Episode sponsor - Meat and Livestock Australia.
In The Know: Crafting Mongrel Boots with Phil Cloros (Ep 2 of 2) - Better Business Series
23:31Welcome to episode six of the Better Business series and our second with Phil Cloros from Mongrel Boots. In the first part of our chat, we explored Phil's background and his perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the family business, especially in the context of generational differences and workforce challenges. In this second part, we delve deeper into how Phil manages communication within the family business, the role of the next generation, and the importance of modernising their approach to stay relevant in the market.This episode of The Better Business podcast is supported by the Farm Business Resilience Program through the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
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Career Paths From Texas to the Territory with Liv Thompson
19:03In this episode, Oli chats with Olivia (Liv) Thompson, a Director at LAWD. Liv's early years were spent on Northern Territory cattle stations, and she recently came full circle by selling one of those stations as a real estate agent.Although Liv's career began in real estate, she took a detour to Texas, USA, working as a cutting horse trainer. Throughout this episode, Liv openly discusses her rookie mistakes, her love for the Northern Territory community, the cultural insights she gained from her time overseas and the evolution of her career.Liv reflects, "It just amazes me that you would never know if somebody was a truck driver or if they had a string of properties and were an absolute millionaire. So you just can't judge a book by its cover," when talking about the people in the Northern Territory.
In The Know: Crafting Mongrel Boots with Phil Cloros (Ep 1 of 2) - Better Business Series
24:50We're half way through the Better Business Series! Here is episode five with Phil Cloris from Mongrel Boots as our guest. In this episode, we dive into Phil's journey with Mongrel Boots, a fifth-generation Australian shoe business founded in 1930. We explore how Phil, alongside his family members, has worked to maintain the family values and ethos while also bringing in non-family employees on their journey. Phil shares insights into navigating generational shifts and the importance of balancing craftsmanship with modernity.The craft of boot-making is becoming less and less common. Phil discusses the challenges in finding skilled labour, how they've adapted to ensure the quality of their boots remains top-notch and how their branding has evolved. This conversation provides insights into family businesses, the evolving landscape of manufacturing in Australia, and the dedication to producing Australian-made goods. Stay tuned for our next episode with Phil being released next week! This episode of The Better Business podcast is supported by the Farm Business Resilience Program through the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
The Global Business That Started on a Fence Post with Ned and Lachie
42:26This week Oli had two guests join him on the Humans of Agriculture Podcast! Lachie Knight and Ned Olsson from Clipex met up with Oli during the 2023 AgQuip Field Days. Clipex is a family business which started in manufacturing a solution for fencing and then expanded into other livestock handling equipment. They now have businesses across the globe in the likes of Ireland and Uruguay. Ned's family established Clipex and Lachie has since joined the team. The trio touch on the following: Lachie's upbringing with his Dad running cattle throughout Eastern Australia while his Mum was building a career focusing on the people element of succession planning How the Olsson's developed the fencing product and left the family farm to establish the business Neds' family unit and how each member is gifted and able to contribute to the business in their own way Working with international manufacturers and engineers Ned's passion for business, even as a kid Lachie's connection with customers and what he defines as 'solution driven outcomes' What advice Lachie and Ned have for young people looking at a career in agriculture "So we're Swedish background and we always say it's the Viking that comes out in us... We're up for a fight and a bit of a challenge. I suppose always grew up as a kid in our family that if there's a problem, it's just because there's a solution waiting to be found." - Ned
In The Know: Buy From The Bush with Grace Brennan (Ep 2 of 2) - Better Business Series
26:17Welcome to Episode 4 of the Better Business series and our second with Grace Brennan, Founder and CEO of Buy From The Bush. Your host, Oli Le Lievre and Grace discuss various aspects of Grace's journey in building and growing her impactful business. Grace shares insights about the role of vulnerability, utilising outsourcing, the importance of admitting what you don't know, and asking questions. She also highlights the significance of building a team of individuals with shared instincts and skills. Grace talks about the lessons she learned from her husband's experience in farming, problem-solving, and adapting in the agriculture sector, "He's taught me to believe that even if you fail, your decision wasn't wrong because you made that decision. He really believes in his capacity to make the right decision at the time." - GraceThis episode of The Better Business podcast is supported by the Farm Business Resilience Program through the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
Crafting Culture and a Lifetime of Learnings with Anthony Lee
45:51In a past life, Anthony Lee has scrubbed dishes, flipped burgers, varnished boats, worked on ski fields and spent time as a postman... Now, Anthony is the CEO and Director at family business, Australian Country Choice (ACC), a beef, cattle and food processing company. Anthony first came onto Oli’s radar following his speech at the EKKA Brekkie in 2022, his passion about education and promoting opportunities to the next generation was equally inspiring and motivating. Since that day, Oli wanted to sit down and find out more about Anthony. So what better opportunity than at ACC’s annual staff event in Roma in late August. The event is dedicated to bringing together the hundreds of people across the business for three days of connecting in teamwork and stockmanship. It's a fitting setting as Anthony talks about 'culture before capability' throughout this episode, and how he goes about crafting culture in his role as CEO. They also touch on: Growing up in the family business The evolution into the vertically integrated business it is today How he has built life skills through global travel Business aims, culture and capability Balancing his personal life Building and leading a team Connecting with an urban audience
In The Know: Buy From The Bush with Grace Brennan (Ep 1 of 2) - Better Business Series
31:30Welcome to Episode 3 of the Better Business series and our first with powerhouse, Grace Brennan, Founder and CEO of Buy From The Bush. Your host, Oli Le Lievre, and Grace cover everything from her upbringing in Sydney, to falling in love and moving out to 'the bush', all the way to establishing Buy From The Bush. And if you are familiar with Buy From The Bush, you would know just how quickly it escalated in Australia. For Grace, her connection to the bush started when she travelled out to her High School sweethearts family farm, "Jack's [Grace's now husband] dad was kind of inspired in the sense that he really believed in involving me in some of the business and asked him my opinion. And I remember even when I was a 16 year old visiting the farm, he'd say, 'Now I've got this problem, what do you reckon about it?' And that was his way, he was a natural teacher. And he was interested and curious and asked a lot of questions of me. So I think I was very lucky in that way. And I did, I suppose, offer something unique." - GraceThis episode of The Better Business podcast is supported by the Farm Business Resilience Program through the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
The Young Leader connecting Robotics and Agriculture with Jordy Kitschke
29:57In this episode of the Humans of Agriculture podcast, Oli is joined by Jordy Kitschke, founder of Flux Robotics and former evokeAG. Future Young Leader (2019). We follow Jordy's journey from growing up on a farm in South Australia, to founding not one, but two AgTech businesses.For Jordy, it started on the family cropping farm where he had a list of problems he wanted to fix that was a mile long... He was listening to podcasts on the tractor, learning about various technology and software that he thought could help him solve some of these problems. But first, Jordy wanted to understand agriculture more broadly, which took him overseas to South America and Africa. From there, he ended up working in the commercialisation and product development of different technologies. All of this set him up to be the CEO of a business at the ripe age of 22!“I try to think, ‘What am I actually passionate about?’ Because I'm passionate about all sorts of things… I think what I'm passionate about is solving important problems that I think I'm well-placed to solve. It's like if I don't do it, then who is this going to? Is it going to be solved?” - Jordy
In The Know: Mitch Highett from Bullseye Ag - Episode ✌️ of ✌️
18:59Welcome to Episode 2 of the Better Business series! In this episode, we return with Mitch from Bullseye Ag. If you missed the first episode, make sure you go back and give it a listen. This time, we continue to learn from Mitch and his experience in building a business, which sometimes meant removing himself from the business, "So that if this fell apart, the whole business wasn't going to fall apart." Mitch shares the lessons he's learned and things he would perhaps do differently if he had his time again... "So that would be my big thing is that don't be afraid of the risk. But make sure you go in there knowing that there is one and how to mitigate it as much as possible." - MitchStay tuned for the next episode, where we'll be sitting down with Grace Brennan, the powerhouse behind Buy from the Bush, a business that has made a huge impact on rural Australia.This episode of The Better Business podcast is supported by the Farm Business Resilience Program through the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.