Nutrien Ag Solutions is the largest provider of agricultural services and inputs to farmers in Australia, and it’s Moree branch punches above its weight as both a provider of farm inputs and professional agribusiness services, and an employer in the Gwydir Valley.
Led by Branch Manager, Sam Collier, the team service a wide range of agricultural businesses and family farm within a 400 kilometre radius of the town.
"We’re predominantly a chemical, seed and fertiliser supplier for broadacre and irrigation farmers,” says Sam. “We partner with our customers to connect them with best-in-class products, advice and services to help solve the myriad of challenges that come with growing food and fibre.”
Sam took over running the branch just two years ago, and in his short tenure the branch has delivered exceptional results on behalf of their clients, despite the headwinds of Covid-19, flooding, mouse plagues and labour shortages.
“Our local community is second to none, so we know how important it is to support the town in which we live and work. We had several colleagues, friends and customers who were directly impacted by the most recent flooding and the impact to crops, assets and livestock was also devastating. But I’m so proud of how our team came together in this moment and assisted those that were impacted, volunteering their time, tools, labour and advice to support our community,” says Sam.
Earlier this year, the Moree branch hosted an emergency trauma training workshop with CareFlight which was attended by local farmers and agricultural workers.
“Every minute counts at a traumatic incident and those minutes are even more precious when you’re living or working in rural areas, so it was great to have an opportunity to upskill members of our community with practical skills that one day could save a life,” says Sam.
In November 2022, the Moree team of nine were awarded Nutrien Ag Solutions Branch of the Year.
"We are a young, dynamic team, very driven and service orientated. Our priority is always the customer and what we can do to put them ahead, to make the most of the season and to achieve their goals,” says Sam.
With 4,000 employees and more than 400 retail branches across rural and regional Australia, Nutrien Ag Solutions plays a vital role in the food supply chain, providing key nutrients, crop protection products, seed, agriculture services, agronomic advice, and financing to farmers.
The Nutrien story began in 1840 with Frederick Dalgety in western Victoria, followed by Kemp Roberts & Co in Hobart. Over the years, the company encompassed some of the most recognised and trusted names in Australian agriculture. The latest chapter began in 2019 when Ruralco and Landmark came together to become Nutrien Ag Solutions. As part of the Canadian-based Nutrien Limited group, Nutrien is globally backed, but locally focused, with all profits generated by the Australian business reinvested back into the Australian arm.
It's not just chemicals and fertilisers that help keep Moree farmers on top of their game. Nutrien’s team of specialists provide tailored support in agronomy, rural merchandise, livestock, finance, insurance, real estate, water and wool, to help growers be more productive, sustainable and profitable.
Sam is part of a new wave of passionate, young agribusiness professionals that are taking up career opportunities with Nutrien.
"This is a company that looks after people and is big on building future teams from the ground up,” says Sam.
After a diverse career in contract farming and ag machinery sales across the North West, Sam found his feet in regional communities.
"I’ve learned that with good service, you can grow alongside some of the most innovative farmers in the country. Surviving droughts and floods, these are unbelievably tight and resilient communities."
In 2021, Sam, his wife Jana and young family relocated to Moree to take on the Nutrien Branch Manager role, relishing the new challenge.
"My great mate (and Nutrien Mudgee Branch Manager) Lachlan Nies told me I'd love Nutrien, love Moree and spoke very positively about a career change. In the end, it came down to the people and a great opportunity to work with a professional, enthusiastic and committed team.”
Moree and the surrounding Gwydir Valley is a diverse broadacre cropping region producing a range of both summer and winter crops, but it’s predominantly known for its rich black alluvial soils, perfect for growing some of the best cotton in the world.
"We are consistently busy all year round, with our peak period from August through to March, supplying inputs for the cotton and irrigation industries,” says Sam.
"There's a saying around here – they reckon if you stick to the black dirt in the tough times, the black mud will stick with you in the good times. I tell everyone that Moree is the land of opportunity. If you’re prepared to work hard and want to get ahead, then this town is for you.”
"To have success in this industry we have to ensure we are doing the best by our growers. Our competition is second to none and well established, meaning we all have to be on the top of our game and continue to deliver results for our customers every season.
"While I loved my journey with tractors, this is by far the best job I've ever had and it’s a real privilege to support out local farmers to be leaders in their field!”