Ben is a co-founder of ag software company AgriDigital, and is a fourth generation farmer.
Ben grew up on a mixed family farm between Young and Cowra in NSW, before going away to boarding school.
He went on to study a Bachelor of Commerce in Orange, and like many country kids, contemplated whether or not to come back to work on the family farm.
He took a leap and decided to pursue a career off-farm, securing his first job after University with a grain company in the Riverina, leading him into a 20 year career specialising in commodity marketing, broking, logistics, storage and trading.
He’s since bought and inherited part of the family farm he grew up on, and now operates a cattle farm with his wife Jane and three children, Owen, Maeve and Lani, while running his Sydney based business, out of his home office.
AgriDigital is a software platform that farmers, grain traders, and storage and handling companies use to track their grain from paddock to payment.
The business is a prime example of how advancements in technology have revolutionised the agricultural industry.
Ben says he loves working in grain as every day is different and challenging.
“There’s always innovation coming in and things are moving relatively quickly,” Ben said.
“There’s a lot of investment now in the supply chain, whether it be farmers building grain storage, transport companies upgrading road freight, or new technology for testing grain.”
“There’s a real buzz around the industry at the moment.”
However working in grain doesn’t come without it’s challenges.
“Costs have rapidly increased, and I think farmers are scratching their heads a bit, looking at how they can reduce their costs and maximise value,” Ben said.
“I think technology is going to play a big part in that. For me it’s important to know that what I’m doing day to day is adding value for our customers and our business.”
Ben says like a lot of other industries, relationships are key in farming.
“The old saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, rings true in grain. It’s a competitive industry that’s for sure, but in my experience mates in grain are always willing to help each other out.”
This year is shaping up to be a big one on the family farm. Ben says he’s focused on trying to utilise all the grass!
“I deal with enough grain in my day job so it’s nice to have a sheep and cattle enterprise mix on the farm”
“It’s certainly been good across the beef and lamb industry, so we’re trying to make the most of the season because we know it won’t be like this forever!”