CATEGORY: COMMUNITY AND PEOPLE (ADVISER)
It is important to play an active role in the community and not be a bystander according to John Fox.
As manager of Lockhart’s Delta Ag, which supplies agronomy support and chemicals to the local growers, John supervises a team of seven including agronomists.
He leads by example, participating in local community committees where he can support the town that supports his business.
John’s proudest community achievement was to organise a 700km bike ride this year, from Ungarie, NSW, to Melbourne, to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease. The ride, which had a goal of raising between $5,000 and $10,000 actually raised $141,000 as 70 riders aged from eight to 77 raised funds to support the cause.
This, he says, reflects the support of rural communities and is the reason why people love to live there.
He is also fully aware of the value of his staff and his open-door management policy means he regularly checks in with each member to hear how they are feeling.
After each monthly meeting, one staff member is taken out for coffee and encouraged to have a frank discussion on their role and the business.
“It is hard to find good staff and I have seven corkers, so I will do everything I can to retain them,” he says.
He is especially aware of the impact that the drought has on his staff, who act as counsellors to many farmers in the district, and has arranged training for them to be able to cope with this.