Succeeding in a Diverse Industry

Vicki Wilson OAM | Town & Country Rural Supplies, Bathurst

L-R: Chris Arrow, Trish Arrow, Luke Abbott, Nicole Treanor, Shania Patterson & Vicki Wilson from Town & Country Rural Supplies at the Royal Bathurst Show.

Vicki has been the owner and manager of Town & Country Rural Supplies (TCRS) since the business was started as an independent rural store in 1994. With 45 years of experience in the industry, Vicki is passionate about working with rural communities and always has been. At the age of just 27 she was the first female ever to be promoted to the position of Merchandise Manager at Elders. “I remember the headline in Sydney and Bathurst papers ‘Woman breaks through.’” This was a massive honor, and a credit to her loyalty and dedication to the agricultural industry.

own & Country Rural SuppliesHer store, Town & Country Rural Supplies, offers a wide variety of products and services to support a range of rural clients. Working closely with suppliers to stock everything from animal health products and livestock handling systems to cropping and farming supplies, the staff are able to consistently supply the right product for their customers’ diverse needs. Their commitment to improving efficiency and productivity in the industry is backed by hands-on agricultural experience and regular training with current industry knowledge.

“Town & Country Rural Supplies prides itself on its excellent customer service. Our customers are the most important aspect of our business, and we work tirelessly to satisfy their needs and offer superior services. Providing up-to-date product knowledge, treating each customer as a valued client, striving to maintain our customer’s loyalty, and building strong rapport with clients are our main goals.”

TCRS serves customers from Bathurst and surrounding areas. This iconic rural area in the Central Tablelands represents the original food bowl of the new colony in the 19th century, and has a very diverse history. It is valued as prime agricultural land and supports a wide variety of agricultural practices, including horticultural and broadacre cropping, and livestock production of beef, wool and sheep. It is also associated with the viticulture industry.

The store stocks a great range of animal feeds ready to supply to farmers. “We introduced a range of affordable stock feed from csg in 2005, which has been very popular during both summer and winter seasons. Returning customers feel csg’s scratch mix is the best value in the Bathurst area! We have great rapport with the staff at csg and they have given us some great early incentives. The team are very professional and offer us great pricing in a very volatile service market.”

This same rural market can be very challenging for both businesses and customers. Vicki believes that having each staff member go above and beyond for each customer, every time, is the key to success in rural retail. Her team maintains continuous improvement practices to ensure they can meet their customers needs in an ever-changing market.

TCRS at the Royal Bathurst Show 2021 The greatest challengeThe greatest challenges faced by rural stores in the past 12 months has been the climate, rising prices and Covid.

“As we are an essential service, we had to adapt quickly during covid to ensure the safety of staff and clients.

The climate has affected both the spring/summer and autumn/winter seasons, with many farmers having to make changes to the management of their enterprises. In Summer we saw a El Nino climate, which brought reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures, and a higher fire risk. During the hotter weather many farmers had to supplementary feed their livestock. However, autumn/winter brought a cool change with more rainfall, which improved pastures in many areas.

The team here responds to changing weather conditions by trying to understand the overall effect of the climate on our farmers. Our expertise allows us the opportunity to look for new products and services available, and we keep our customers up to date with this information. Over the past few months we have been focusing on the importance of water management by offering our clients new innovative programs and products to support their enterprises.”

Looking to the future, the rural industry has many opportunities for oncoming generations. Young people can get involved in ag with work placement opportunities, industry shows and programs such as Town & Country’s Rural Achiever Program which promotes youth in Agriculture.

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