Greg Easton – Celebrating 10 years with Farmanco
Farmanco would like to congratulate Greg Easton on 10 years with us. Greg is based out of the Mundaring office and consults to farm business clients up and down the central part of the wheatbelt, from Coorow to the Stirlings.
Greg expresses surprise that 10 years has passed and remembers a client asking, when he first started with Farmanco, how long he would be working with Farmanco. Greg said at least five years, and now he has reached double that figure!
Greg comes from a farming background; from a small town of Tincurrin. He completed a mature age degree then worked in finance in regional Western Australian, before moving to commercial finance in the Perth CBD.
During the GFC, Greg was working in the finance sector and was looking for a career outside of finance that would enable him to work with rural Australians; preferably farmers. Farmanco advertised on SEEK and that encouraged him to apply for the job. Rob Sands and Ken Sevenson completed the initial interviews.
The things that Greg most likes about the role of Farm Management Consultant is the clients and being invited into their business and life and then watching their businesses grow and succeed – even if the time frame is sometimes slower than I or the client would like.
Greg has a real admiration and respect for farming families.
Pressure comes on to the role from late December until early April. This is the busiest time of the year for a Farm Management Consultant, with the bulk of tight deadline work occurring during that period. August to October is the next busiest time but it doesn’t have the same hectic pressure as early in the year.
Some key benefits that Greg believes he offers a farm business are:
- providing an outsider view of the business
- assisting with the strategic long-term view; and
- bringing experience and ideas from researchers and other business that will help improve productivity and/or reduce cost to improve business long-term profitability
When asked what Greg thinks are particularly interesting or exciting for Agriculture in Australia, Greg said that autonomous farming is what he sees as being the next big step. Whether it is in small multi‑functional robots or the automation of larger equipment that we already have (he suspects the latter) will be interesting to see.
Agriculture is producing vast quantities of data: Yield data, satellite imagery, drone imagery, soil moisture probes and localised weather stations. I am sure that the aggregation of this data will provide better long‑term outcomes.
Also, it might be better if more scientific rigor was applied to things that we intuitively believe. Perhaps leading to better yield predictions, rather than using multiple models, in areas such as-
- Dry years with canola under stress in the northern wheatbelt (WA) is likely to see an increase in Diamond Back Moths.
- Dry summer and lower disease; and
- Heat being as damaging as frost
Greg has a life outside of Farmanco! He became involved in the WA water ski community as his children Eliza and Lucas learnt to ski. Greg has been a committee member of the WA Barefoot Club for several years and was initially in charge of keeping the website and social media pages current.
Greg has also picked up lower lever judging and driving qualifications on the way through, which enable him to assist at tournaments.
The Easton family is likely to remain involved in water skiing and swimming for the next few years with Eliza this year becoming champion girl in swimming at Swan Christian College, and runner up in the Inter School Carnival. Lucas remains interested in competitive skiing, in particular barefoot water skiing and Water Ski Jumping.
Greg and his family have plans to travel to the USA, in the longer-term. His wife Yvette would like to take the family to America to see the families she stayed with as a Rotary Exchange student. Greg would also like to take them to the UK to catch up with his sister and her family. And if possible, would take the family back to the Solomon Island now that the children are above the age of 10, to swim in the Pacific and see the remnants of WW2 tanks and shipwrecks.
To windup, Greg believes that the strength of Farmanco and what it brings to our clients is diversity of thought. By that he means that whether you are a Management Consultant, Agronomist or Grain Marketer in Farmanco – if a client has a question that you can’t answer then somebody in the broader group is very likely to have the experience required to offer thoughtful insights into the issue.