Recognising dedication with One Elders – announcing the winners for August - Elders Rural Services

Recognising dedication with One Elders – announcing the winners for August

The One Elders Awards program recognises and rewards employees and teams whose performance and safety outcomes, significantly contribute to business results and demonstrate our values-based culture. Each month Elders recognises high achievers in the areas of sales, operations and safety, who have demonstrated our values of integrity, customer focus, accountability, team work and innovation.

Our August winners of the One Elders Awards for demonstrating exceptional performance across sales operations and safety are Gus Foott, David Barnes and the Southern Riverina Safety Action Team.

One Elders Sales Performance Award

Gus Foott, Territory Sales Manager, Charleville has won the One Elders Sales Performance Award.

Gus won the One Elders Sales Performance Award for his approach to looking at industry opportunities with a different perspective.  Gus identified that there was a lack of industry leadership in relation to the trading of goats as livestock.  Gus believes goats provide producers with diversity in their production systems, and has been working with Peter Gordon at the Elders MLA Co-innovation project to gain feedback and discuss the goat industry with producers in the area.  They held a workshop with more than 50 producers at Elders Charleville and Gus was a key note speaker, sharing with the attendees his knowledge of the goat industry in Western Queensland.  The workshop enables clients to get involved in these discussions and facilitated a more proactive relationship between Elders, MLA and producers.

Gus said “I believe it is an industry that is still relatively new and goats have generally been considered as animals that are sent direct to the meat works. But why not market the goat as we market sheep?”  He added, “in my view, here at Charleville, goats are joining the mainstream livestock industry and it is imperative that as a livestock agent, Elders is part of this growing industry otherwise we will be left behind.”

Gus believes that AuctionsPlus has a great role to play in marketing goats in this untapped market.  He has been nominated as a AuctionsPlus Young Gun and has recently received a Hargraves Institute Innovator Award for his involvement within the MLA/Elders Co-Innovation Project.  To date, Gus has sold over 90% of the goats listed in Queensland, since gaining accreditation as an AuctionsPlus assessor 6 months ago.

One Elders Operational Performance Award

David Barnes, Operations Manager, Killara has won the One Elders Operational Performance Award.

David won the One Elders Operational Performance Award for the work he and his team undertook, in a rebuild project at the Killara feedlot.

With safety and animal welfare at the forefront, the execution of the project included coordinating staff and contractors, whilst maintaining a 100% occupancy, and continuing to mill and feed 290 tonnes of feed per day. David’s problem solving skills along with his work ethic and leadership skills ensured a very positive outcome for the project. During the rebuild, David said communication was imperative, with daily team meetings being held to ensure staff could provide valuable input and enabled operations to continue with little disruption.

As a relatively new member of Elders, David said, “it was really gratifying to be recognised by my peers for an award such as this”. He added, “the award was very unexpected but very much appreciated as I have gone through a very steep learning curve since starting. When I commenced my employment with Elders, I could never have imagined that 16 months later I would be acknowledged at this level”.

One Elders Safety Award

The Southern Riverina Safety Action Team have won the One Elders Safety Award.

Michelle Grenness of Albury, Di Rutherford of Jerilderie, Lauren Keenan of Yarrawonga, Sam Joice of Deniliquin and Neville Wong of Shepparton make up the Southern Riverina Safety Action Team.  They won the One Elders Safety Award for their work to maintain and improve safety in their region as well as to look outside Elders to see how other companies work with safety.

As part of a safety team meeting held at the Deniliquin branch, Sam Joice organised a team visit to a major employer in the area, the Deniliquin Rice Mill owned by Sunrice. Rice has been a major crop that has shaped the town over the past 30 years, but with no water allocation this coming year for irrigation, they are having to look at all their efficiencies and processes.

The Elders safety team were looking to see what safety synergies Sunrice has with its processing and that at Elders. They discussed induction process, learning modules, training of staff and contractors, mandatory hi-viz vests, staff well-being programs and more. The aim of the meeting was to get an outside-in perspective of what processes and improvements might be considered for implementation at our Elders branches.

The safety team were very impressed with the facilities at Sunrice and their safety initiatives. The team agreed that seeing another business and their safety processes was a great benchmarking exercise, and was confirmation that Elders has a high standard of safety.