2017 Annual Dinner
Getting to know an innovative central west farmer - whose family crushing, refining, packing and stockfeed company exports to over 10 countries and employs 65 people on-site - while enjoying an evening of country hospitality was the vibe of the FarmLink Annual Dinner on Friday, July 28.
Peter Mac Smith, one of the driving forces behind a fully integrated oilseed crushing, refining and packaging operation located at Manildra in central west of NSW was guest speaker at the dinner, where he held the audience captive with his farming, business and life experiences.
The evening continued with entertainment by Josh McKellar, while Michele Seymour served a three-course dinner. Drinks were courtesy of AGT who generously sponsored the bar for the evening.
About Peter Mac Smith …
Peter Mac Smith of MSM Milling left school in 1980 and returned to the family farm at Cudal which had been in the family since the 1850s.
Peter started out at Hawkesbury Ag College in 1983, but never finished, and in 1984 joined his brother to purchase their uncle’s farm. Peter admits their timing was horrendous as the US and the EU started a trade war which saw wheat prices drop below $100 tonne, and interest rates soar to 17-18%.
Wanting to find a way to value add to his farm production, Peter and his brother looked into canola crushing.
“We managed to claw our way through that period and in 1992 we started Australian Country Canola which over the last 25 years has grown from 300 tonnes in year 1 to over 100,000 tonnes now, we export oil, meal and stockfeeds to over 10 countries and employ around 65 people on site at Manildra,” Peter explains.
“The business has three distinct units, crushing and refining, Manildra Packing which assembles 20 litre steel drums and packs oil in drums and BIB and Manildra Stockfeeds which produces a range of feeds for domestic and export customers.”
On a personal note, Peter is married to Sarah and they have three children, Georgie and Sophie at university and Hamish, who is in Year 11.
Peter’s story will fit perfectly with FarmLink’s continuing theme of country hospitality which proved such a success last year as guests gathered for a celebration of regional agriculture.