Grower Profiles

Salvatore Papa - Papa’s Fattoria

For 25 years Salvatore owned and operated his farming enterprise, farming Wheat and Canola on his property near Bathurst NSW. Salvatore enjoys farming, and while it may be hard work, it is very rewarding. He instantly fell in love with farming when he first visited his farm and saw the beautiful yellow canola crops.

Working on-farm comes with challenges, as Salvatore owns and operates a business in Sydney NSW, and for over 30 years, Salvatore Papa has been feeding Sydneysiders quintessential Italian sweets, inspired by recipes from his hometown in Sicily. But striking a happy balance between his love for farming and his thriving retail and wholesale operation with three locations in Haberfield, Five Dock and Bondi is an ongoing challenge. He would love to spend more time on-farm as farming requires a large amount of time.

While one of the biggest safety concerns on farm is workers operating heavy machinery and accessing silos, Salvatore has ensured that he gives his employees the best level of training and the opportunity to increase their skills and ensure safety is the key priority.

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Although life can be busy and farming is demanding, Salvatore enjoys spending time outdoors while working on the farm. Being outdoors is a totally different lifestyle to what he experiences when he is in Sydney.

He would like to implement more automation on farm, allowing him time to gain the opportunity to spend more time exploring more areas of farming.

Over the next 5 years, Salvatore would like to spend more time at the farm and expanding this side of his business.

David - GA Fishpool & Co

David has been working on his family farm since he was 5 years old with his father. David predominately breeds cross bred lambs for meat and wool production along with cropping barley, canola, and lupins. He enjoys working on farm, as every day is a new challenge, and no two days are ever the same.

David likes to say the his “old man” guilted him into remaining on the farm, but his enjoyment of the land is easy to see.

Over the next 5 years David would like to expand his enterprise especially if any of his neighbours are selling (he adds with a glint in his eye). The continuing expansion of the farm is something that sits foremost in their plans now, with David’s daughter continuing with the business.

David would like to improve the farms safety practices by implementing newer methods for cost and time saving, and general safety practices to protect everyone.

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Being your own boss is his favourite part about farming, with the ability to work how and when you want, and the capability to be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice to spend and enjoy time with the kids before they grow up.

Looking to the future David would like the ability to market price-share more, and see more transparency on the products we produce while getting fair market price.

When asked about the biggest challenges in farming today, David (jokingly) replied keeping the Missus happy, but on a more serious note, Government interference, red tape, and what he perceives as the Greens left wing influences are not helping farmers to grow their business for future generations.

Scott Mattiske (Parents David & Janelle Mattiske) - D & J Partnership
 

Located in Forbes NSW, Scott Mattiske is a fourth-generation family farmer with a farming enterprise going back 70+ years. Scott predominately crops Wheat, Barley, Oats and Canola. Being a family operation, Scott was born into the farming business with the fifth generation on its way into the family business, as his son Tom has been working alongside him.
 

The biggest challenge Scott has on farm is Implementing and succeeding the plan. The parameters are forever changing but the basic business plans don’t, so communication and revision of the parameters are essential. Keeping the business moving forward (through better practices and technology) but keeping in mind a conservative approach also in times of change upheaval. Even when the margins are closing, keeping and staying in the market is a challenge.
 

Scott believes that lack of communication and lack of planning are two of the biggest issues that affect farming safety. Everything that you do impacts others in the family business, and open communication to what is planned and what is happening plays a major role in ensuring that everyone on their property, as well as visiting contractors are kept safe.

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To a certain extent, being your own boss is one of Scott’s favourite parts about farming. While required to remain flexible around times when certain jobs are essential to be completed, (sowing, harvest etc.) and being present for outside contractors, you do remain largely your own boss, with the ability to take time when you want too.

As time moves fast, Scott would like to stay up to date on new methods and technology and implementation of these takes time. Keeping ahead of the game on farm storage, and not solely relying on yourself to get everything done- making use of other businesses that specialise in their fields, whether it be on farm storage, contract harvesting, providers of sensors etc, and working smarter not harder.

Scott sees an extended future here, remaining on the farm.

Looking to the future Scoot would like to implement on farm Technologies. The expanding technologies and the time keeping up with it. There is so much new technology coming out and sifting through what is worthwhile and what to discard – it needs to be meaningful and value adding to a farming enterprise.