There's a new player in the agricultural machinery sector in Queensland, but the owners behind the exciting venture are familiar faces to farmers across Southern Queensland.
STAG Machinery Group is poised to assume responsibility for the Case IH dealerships in Toowoomba and Dalby, previously operated by Wideland Ag.
This new business is the result of a partnership between Craig Brimblecombe of St George Machinery Centre, and Noel Baines, owner of Ag Requirements in Gatton, both long-standing and highly-successful Case IH dealerships, well-known to producers in the Lockyer Valley and Southern Queensland.
STAG Machinery Group will operate from new locations in Toowoomba and Dalby and is in the final stages of preparing the branches for opening by December. Both St George Machinery Centre and Ag Requirements will continue operating as usual.
Noel and Craig both have a long history in the ag machinery sector in Queensland and are enthusiastic about expansion into the Toowoomba and Dalby areas.
"It's an exciting time and we're looking forward to getting to know the farmers of these two important Queensland agricultural regions," Craig said. "Customers can be confident we'll not only meet their sales and service expectations, we'll exceed them with the enthusiasm, knowledge and experience our teams bring to the table."
St George Machinery Centre has been a Case IH dealer for more than 35 years, with Craig, in conjunction with three other partners, taking over operations in 2009, before he bought out the other partners in 2013. The dealership currently has 20 employees, with a particular focus on the broadacre sector and irrigation.
Ag Requirements had its beginnings in 1948 as an International Harvester dealership – the IH in Case IH – with Noel joining the business in 1998 as financial controller, before purchasing the dealership in 2002. Today, Ag Requirements has 50 staff with Case IH its flagship machinery brand, while also manufacturing irrigation and ag equipment. With horticulture the dominant form of agriculture in the Lockyer Valley, Ag Requirements does most of its tractor business in the medium to lower horsepower end of the market.
"The establishment of this new business – run by two of the most experienced ag machinery dealers in the state - will certainly strengthen the Case IH dealer network in Eastern Australia and presents new opportunities for the Case IH brand" - Pete McCann, General Manager, Case IH ANZ
In contrast, broadacre cropping and high horsepower are the norm for St George Machinery Centre, which makes for an ideal synergy when it comes to a new partnership to drive the Case IH brand in Toowoomba and Dalby, Noel says.
"Our experience across the whole market is second-to-none. From vegetables to broadacre crops, we have customers in Dalby and Toowoomba covered. Customer service is what we're good at and where our priority lies. In our case, the man who owns the store, runs the store, and customers will always know who to contact if they have an issue," Noel said.
This year's harvest is promising to be the best since 2016, and while it's a busy period for farmers, Craig said they need not be concerned about the Toowoomba and Dalby dealership changes impacting on their operations at such a crucial time.
"Although the timing of this venture is in the middle of harvest, during the transition we'll be here for whatever customers require, and whenever they need it. The opportunities are enormous and we look forward to introducing new and existing Case IH customers in these regions to our new business and everything we have to offer," Craig said.
Noel added: "We're in this together with farmers and what we're promising is a business relationship that we can all benefit from. We know this is a big change, but we have a long history in Southern Queensland and customers can be assured of our commitment to the Toowoomba and Dalby areas, and our support for the farming operations that underpin these regional economies."
General Manager for Case IH Australia/New Zealand Pete McCann congratulated STAG Machinery Group on the new venture and welcomed the benefits for both customers and the dealer network as a whole.
"The establishment of this new business – run by two of the most experienced ag machinery dealers in the state - will certainly strengthen the Case IH dealer network in Eastern Australia and presents new opportunities for the Case IH brand. Most importantly though, our customers will benefit from a renewed commitment to their product and service needs, and the combined knowledge and experience Craig and Noel bring," Pete said.
As they prepare for the opening, they said suitably experienced and qualified personnel wishing to join the team should contact Craig on 0428 964 269 or Noel Baines on 0417 729 499 for information. STAG Machinery Group is looking for sales, service, parts and administration staff for both sites.
Customers in the Dalby and Toowoomba areas who require assistance during the transition period can phone 1800 232 583.