Producers who inspire: The Grant Family
Located in the charming riverina town of Temora in south-western New South Wales, Rob Grant continues his family’s legacy as a third-generation farmer with their farm prospering, through the ups and downs that Australian agriculture has to offer.
“We have a beautiful patch of land that provides top-quality wheat and good harvests in the good years. Coming off the back of an incredible two years of growing, we’re very excited for what the 2022 season has in store,” said Mr Grant.
“We’ve planted heavily again this year, in the hope to produce great yields at harvest in November. We’re betting on a back-to-back bumper season, and if everything goes to plan, we’ll have another cracking harvest,” Mr Grant told The Cultivator.
A stark turnaround from 18 months ago, with the drought ravaging the eastern wheat industry, with Mr Grant highlighting the importance of taking advantage of the “good times, as the drought years were really tough” – impacting wheat quantity and yields.
At the 7,600 hectare mixed farming enterprise the Grant’s produce sheep and have diversified rotational cropping including wheat, canola and barley providing opportunities for competitive advantage and meeting market and seasonal demand.
The Grant’s high-protein premium wheat is sold to family-owned Manildra Group, and milled into top-quality GMO-free, high protein flour – sought-after by the Australian and international baking industries.
To mill the best quality flour you need the best quality grains and the Grant family’s finest wheat produces phenomenally high-protein flour. This delivers top quality structure, shape, and elasticity – incredibly desirable in bread, sweet, savoury and yeasted baked goods.
“We have a great relationship with Manildra Group and love working with such a professional and accommodating local team,” said Mr Grant.
Being a family business owned and operated by third generation flour millers, Manildra Group’s Grain Operations Manager, Jacob Wooden said that their long-standing personal relationships with local farmers, like the Grant family was at the heart of Manildra Group’s success.
“Our relationship starts at the source—with the farmer who produces the grain. After seven decades of buying a wide array of grains from family farms, we understand the importance of supporting Robert and other local wheat farming families and communities.
“We go beyond a simple transaction, we partner long-term with farmers, offering them the support they need to grow and succeed,” said Mr Wooden.
Storing their grain both on-farm infrastructure such as silos and additionally at Manildra Group’s grain storage sites, the Grant family love the flexibility of the grain buying process from delivery to logistics.
“Their proximity to our high-capacity Stockinbingal grain storage site provides an efficient local transport and storage solution for their wheat.
“And we love working with farmers who have the capacity to store on-farm, as this wheat from farm to grain storage throughout the year.
“This ensures that we can maximise efficiencies and flour milling production schedules, delivering wheat to our flour mills in Gunnedah, Manildra, Narrandera and Nowra, New South Wales.
“It’s been tricky in recent years with a soft finish to harvest due to increased late season rainfall, but the Grant’s always deliver – providing us with premium high-protein wheat,” said Mr Wooden.
Looking to the future of the business, Mr Grant is determined and hopeful of turning the farming reins to his children, preserving a family legacy and a successful business.
“A farm isn’t just a commodity that you hand or sell to someone because there’s a family history and legacy that goes with it.
“We’ve just welcomed our first child and we couldn’t be more ecstatic. A farm has two parts – business and family. We’re farmers through and through, and I would be chuffed if my kids wanted our farm to be passed on to them,” he said.
Buoyed by good moisture levels in the region which delivered last year’s stellar harvest, Mr Grant reflected on his favourite time of the year in farming, whilst remaining confident and optimistic and about this year’s wheat crop.
“It’s hard to pick because I love all aspects of it, but harvest is truly the best. There’s no better feeling than seeing the year’s work come to fruition,” said Mr Grant.
Utilising top-of-the-line technologies on farm, Mr Grant enjoys a “simple, yet holistic” approach to farming.
“We practice full zero till farming, to not disrupt or erode the soil and conserve moisture where possible, and spray crops only as needed.
“We are very happy with the results from our spraying and soil management, and we are focused on putting as much back into our soil as we are getting out,” he said.
“It’s great to implement new technologies here and then exciting to see where technologies can take us, however nothing quite beats an honest day of hard work.
“At the end of the day, as long as we can continue to invest and improve our soil, increase yields and turn a profit – we’ve done a good job,” he said.
Mr Grant said it was paramount to support Australian-owned businesses, being a multi-generation farming family, they were very proud to sell their grain to a 100 per cent Australian family-owned company.
“If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, there is so much uncertainty in the world with our food supply chains. It’s so important for us all to support locally grown-made and owned businesses and products.
“Manildra Group’s values, support and presence in regional Australia is very important to us when it comes to our product, and we look forward to a long, productive working relationship with them for many years to come,” Mr Grant said.