About | Agrista

About

Agrista is the next step. 

 

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John Francis

I have always considered the freedom of working in the country, outside of an office, and the desire to be involved in agriculture as two things that appealed to me in a job.  After leaving school I started an agricultural economics degree at university but it wasn’t the right time for me to be in that academic environment.

I went on to acquire some operational skills as a jackaroo in the Riverina and Northern Territory and then moved into a retail agronomy role.  After completing an agricultural science degree at university largely by distance education I landed my dream job (at the time) as a public sector district agronomist.  After several years of working as an agronomist it struck me that I was providing investment advice to farm managers without a comprehensive understanding of the business of farming or of the real financial consequences of my advice.

In a quest to acquire financial skills I moved into farm management consultancy where I learned the value of integrating the rigour of science and a knowledge of production systems with financial management skills.  The key to a better understanding of farm management was unlocked to me at that point.

Since then I have also learned the value of regular assessment of farm performance at both a financial and production level, and taking an evidence based approach to problem solving.  I have also developed an interest in behavioural economics and social psychology which has been as much a journey of discovery of myself as it has been about the way my clients think and act.

I am passionate about solving problems in agriculture.  Part of the appeal of agriculture to me is that it is always presenting new challenges.  It is this dynamic feature of the industry that keeps me motivated and inspired regardless of the frustration caused by some of these challenges.

While I didn’t realise it at the time, each change in my direction was a career stepping-stone and each has helped me to build knowledge and skills and shape my views on an inspirational industry.  Let’s face it – our industry has purpose in feeding and clothing the world. I look forward to new learnings, new business relationships and I hope I have the opportunity to work and engage with you along the way.

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John and Prue Francis | Agrista
Above: Prue and John Francis

Prue Francis 

I grew up in the beautiful Bylong Valley in NSW on a cattle and horse stud. In it's heyday, the property ran a breeding herd of 750 cows plus up to 1000 head of trading cattle and sold 60 to 70 bulls each year at an annual on-property production sale. At the time, it was an isolated place to live due to access with one dirt road leading in and out of the valley. 

My father managed the property for over 20 years.  For most of that time it was a thriving business with its own small community of 8 families and 2 or 3 Jackaroos who arrived annually to complete a year of farm experience.  There was always action and jobs to be completed.  We helped with the mustering, show and sale preparation, moving irrigation pipes, feeding stock and loading hay. I saw first-hand the importance of being able to communicate with a range of people and how that particular skill can make life easier (or harder) in buinsess. I am grateful for that solid and stable start.  

At University I majored in Communication and afterwards I headed to Sydney to work in consulting and the wine industry.  

Once married, we headed west and later to southern NSW.  My professional life during this time was anything but orderly, rather it became vast and varied with experience gained in advertising, graphic design, marketing, events, human resources and administration.  

I genuinely enjoy people and building relationships.  I am naturally inclined towards developing and maintaining communication channels with our clients.  My role at Agrista is to organise and support events and workshops as well as managing our administration, social media output and website content.