PRODUCERS WHO INSPIRE: The Reid Family
Nestled in the small New South Wales Riverina town of Stockinbingal sits an idyllic wheat farm operated by three generations of the Reid family.
Tony Reid was 16 when his family acquired their first property in 1988 and relocated from the New South Wales south coast town of Broulee to begin farming.
“It was a complete culture shock at first, I couldn’t understand why we would leave the beautiful beaches of the south coast behind,” said Mr Reid.
“However, I quickly realised just how peaceful and absolutely wonderful the farming lifestyle was, and our families have stayed and grown on this land ever since.”
For the Reid’s – family is everything.
The Reid family farm has grown significantly in the last 30 years and is comprised of multiple properties that are home to three generations of farmers including Tony, his wife Kimberley, their four children Joshua, Samuel, Chelsea, and Georgia, his brother Rodney and partner Vickie and his children Jackson, Timothy, and Marcus.
At the top of this farming family tree are Tony’s parents, Athol and Patricia, who have taken a step back from the day-to-day operations but still remain involved.
“Mum and dad are retired but still help out whenever they can. We are so lucky to all be able to live and work so closely together,” Mr Reid told The Cultivator.
“With my children and nephews looking to move back into agriculture after school as well, it really is a big family operation,” he said.
If you ask the Reid’s, they’ll tell you they have seen the best and worst when it comes to farming.
“The last ten years in particular have seen the enterprise experience the most growth,” Mr Reid said.
“There are always challenges but we are very fortunate to be in a reasonably safe area, and although heavily impacted with drought in recent years, we got by,” said Mr Reid.
“Grain prices were good, and we could make a lot of our cereals into hay and straw which really eased the pressure during those tough years of intense drought,” he said.
This year, with paddocks full of lush, green wheat after a stellar season of growing, Mr Reid reflected on his favourite time of the year in farming.
“It’s hard to pick because I love all aspects of it, but really it has to be harvest.
“There’s no better feeling than the joys of seeing your hard work come to fruition. And with each great harvest comes a new goal or way to learn and improve for the next year,” said Mr Reid.
The Reid family grow a mixture of crops depending on the year and season but predominantly farm a few varieties of high-protein wheat over at least half of their 3,300 hectares.
“We are lucky to have the space to grow a few varieties of wheat which gives us the flexibility to cater to the ever-changing weather and general volatile nature of farming,” he said.
Leasing an additional property from their neighbours, Patrick and Annie Thorne and Therese Baldwin, the Reid’s run a dynamic business that is able to adapt to demand.
With their youngest child attending Stockinbingal Public School and their proximity to the newly acquired Manildra Stockinbingal grain storage site, the Reid’s are thrilled to be working so closely with Manildra Group.
“We love that Manildra Group is Australian family-owned and the work they do in the local communities out here is just fantastic,” said Mr Reid.
As a great advocator of the town, Mr Reid was delighted when Manildra Group purchased the grain storage site.
“Manildra Group’s support of the local school and upgrades to the grain storage site really help to boost the sense of community in our small town,” he said.
“For us, we always come back to family, and it is really important to have these support networks in place in order to thrive. We feel the same way when it comes to communities in which we grow and work in; between growers, grain receival ports, landmarks and everything in between, we are all like one big family,” he said.
Manildra Group Head of Grain Operations, Jacob Wooden said Mr Reid is a stand-up bloke and is wonderful to work with.
“It’s always a pleasure when grain arrives on site from the Reid family. They are always up for a chat and consistently deliver the top-quality wheat we seek at Manildra Group,” he said.
“Their proximity to the Stockinbingal grain storage site makes it easy to transport and distribute their wheat to our manufacturing facilities,” he said.
The high-protein wheat grown by the Reid’s is predominantly processed at Manildra Group’s world-class wheat gluten and starch site in Nowra, New South Wales with the remaining wheat sent by rail to Manildra Flour Mill.
“Grain is sent by rail from our Stockinbingal grain storage site to our manufacturing sites to be processed into a range of food and industrial products from flour and bakery mixes, to starches and alcohol,” said Mr Wooden.
It is these strong relationships – some spanning generations – with wheat growers like the Reid family, that are the foundation of which Manildra Group’s wheat buying is based.
To contact Manildra Group’s wheat grain specialists, phone 1300 MANILDRA.