Community Builder of the Month: Kerryn Mickle
Kerryn Mickle has been dealing with farmers for the last 30 years. In February 2021, she decided to partner with FBN™ and become a Community Builder. She was working part-time as a rural financial counsellor but was looking for a way to diversify her income.
Mickle started her career as an agronomist in Western Australia and worked for a few different companies before spending over 20 years with Elders.
Becoming a Community Builder helped her stay involved with the ag industry. With a degree in Agribusiness, she’d sold chem to growers in the past. But keeping up with inventory was a chore. But the ease of helping growers purchase chem through FBN has made her life a lot easier.
She says that having an understanding of ag chemicals and knowing the timing of applications in different actives was helpful knowledge when she became a Community Builder.
And partnering with FBN aligned well with her own personal values.
“I’ve always looked after my customers, my farmers. I’m always thinking about what can help make their business more profitable and more successful. So that lines up with Farmers Business Network’s mission pretty much.”
One of the benefits Mickle sees in the Community Builder model is the ability to actually have product in stock when her farmers ring her up.
“Everything’s been quite volatile in the market at the moment but when one of my farmers can ring up and say, ‘Have you got any of this?’ And yep, we do.”
She also sees true value in being able to send her growers weekly emails with little updates or send them text messages to stay in touch. Speaking with growers at field days and other community events is a great way to manage growers expectations and needs.
“They all read my emails, it’s just getting them to transact and they will purchase when the price is right and it fits into their system.”
Having worked in the Great Southern for the last 25 years Kerryn has built quite a bit of trust with growers in her community.
“That trust and that relationship you have has been built from dealing with them and always trying to do the best thing for my farmer.”
With an extensive ag background, Mickle sees FBN as a disrupter in the Australian ag market.
“I think FBN has a really big opportunity to come in and actually be a disrupter of that market and bring more value to farmers. A lot of consultants at the moment are actually looking around for other options apart from the big players.
They feel they haven’t been completely looked after in the past. So the market’s about to start opening up. It’s going to take a little bit of time. The next couple of years will be interesting.”
Despite being in a very traditional region where farmers don’t move suppliers very easily, they are starting to show interest in FBN. They may only be dipping their foot in the pool but they still want to support local communities.
Getting FBN’s name and mission out in the community is allowing her to have more discussions about availability and pricing with growers. Being able to participate and continue to meet up with growers is what makes her work as a Community Builder valuable and rewarding.
Interested in diversifying your income?
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