Agronomist, EE Muir & Sons Pty Ltd - GLENORE GROVE QLD
CATEGORY: COMMUNITY & PEOPLE
Tommy Le is a vegetable grower, small business owner and agronomist with EE Muir and Sons in Southern Queensland. Tommy’s unique experiences, qualities, enthusiasm, commitment to sharing his knowledge and helping those in his community, and general appreciation for the opportunities he, and his family have had, that have earned Tommy a very worthy nomination in to the Community & People category.
Tommy arrived as a child refugee with his family in Australia in 1987 having spent two years in a refugee camp in Thailand after fleeing a still-volatile Vietnam by boat. It’s those experiences during his early years and his thankfulness for the opportunities he’s had in Australia that he describes coming here as his “second chance at life”.
His career in horticulture kicked off growing tomatoes in South Australia, before moving to Brisbane in 2003 where he and his wife Lilly began growing continental cucumbers. The following year they started LT Fresh, a greenhouse supplies and service business importing and retailing materials and equipment to service the growing covered cropping market around Brisbane and Southern Queensland, as well as selling seed to growers. In 2011, he joined EE Muir and Sons in the Lockyer Valley providing crop protection, seed and fertilisers to growers. It’s these experiences that makes Tommy a unique leader within the community and especially the Vietnamese growing community.
Over the past decade Tommy and Lilly, predominately through LT Fresh, have assisted migrants, new and old, mostly from Vietnam and other parts of SE Asia, to set-up their own small farms and businesses. First providing the equipment to start growing and then the advice and expertise to help them farm and manage their businesses successfully. In doing so, these growers and their families have been able to establish new lives and livelihoods in Australia.
Tommy holds regular meetings and activities on farm to educate the growers, providing information and resources around safe and sustainable farming practices, as well new ideas and information to improve their enterprises.
His work on establishing a premium brand means that the community of growers that he services can become more profitable, make improvements to their small farming businesses and provide an even better quality of life for their families.