This year marks 20 years since the Farm Source store in Taupo began trading. Back then it was known as RD1 and the level of customer demand saw the need to relocate the store in 2011 to a site twice the size of the original store.
The store’s TSR Gav Brears is also celebrating a milestone this year as June marked his fifth year in the role. Gav looks after farmers in the Taupo and Taumarunui regions and has an extensive farming background.
He had an early start in farming as the son of sheep and beef farmers in the King Country.
A New Plymouth Boys High old boy, Gav spent 12 years as store and regional manager for King Country Farmers before the store’s owner Allied Farmers divested their rural merchandising business. A six-year stint as livestock manager at the Venison Rotorua plant followed before Gav returned to the world of rural retail as TSR for Farm Source Taupo.
Gav’s expertise and experience is valued by the farmers in the central North Island who seek his opinion, particularly in his special interest areas of animal health and agronomy. “They trust the advice I give and understand the knowledge I have is important to them,” says Gav.
Taupo was one of only two North Island regions to produce more milk than the previous year.
With the focus now on drying off and winter crop feeding, Gav says helping farmers achieve the best result possible for their business is a rewarding part of his job. Recently he saw good results after urging a customer to rethink his stance on spraying.
“Insect damage on crops can be more damaging than most people think. I worked with a farmer recently who was reluctant to spray his kale crop for insects. But after convincing him of potential loss of yield, we went ahead and sprayed but left a two-metre trial strip unsprayed. The damage to the untreated area was significant and the farmer agreed spraying for insects is a must,” he says.
And while the Taupo region has had its share of challenges, the region’s dairy farmers have also had their successes. According to the latest stats from DairyNZ (New Zealand Dairy Statistics 2016-17), Taupo was one of only two North Island regions to produce more milk than the previous year, with a production increase of 2.2%. And this year, Taupo Dairy Farmer Kylie Leonard was named the Dairy Women’s Network 2018 Dairy Community Leadership Award winner.
Gav says the support the Farm Source team offers customers is what sets the retailer apart.
“It comes down to our knowledgeable staff who care about their customers’ needs, and also their willingness to always go that extra mile,” says Gav. Outside work Gav enjoys hunting and fishing and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.