Prestigious award for family business

Countryman
Albany Farmers Centre 1978 dealer principal Grant Wells with apprentice mechanics Declan Witt and Angus Roth.
Camera IconAlbany Farmers Centre 1978 dealer principal Grant Wells with apprentice mechanics Declan Witt and Angus Roth. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Farmers Centre 1978 has scooped an accolade at CASE IH’s annual Dealer of the Year Awards.

The family business is the largest agricultural machinery dealership in the Great Southern, and has four branches in WA — Albany, Katanning, Lake Grace and Dumbleyung.

Its sister companies are Farmers Centre WA in Esperance and Ravensthorpe, and Farmers Centre in Narrogin.

Farmers Centre 1978 dealer principal Grant Wells was in Hobart for the CASE IH Dealer of the Year Awards on February 26.

He was on-hand to accept the CNH Industrial Capital award in the category of three branches or more.

Farmers Centre 1978 was the only WA dealer to take out an award at this year’s event.

Albany Farmers Centre 1978 dealer principal Grant Wells took out the Case IH's Dealer of the Year Award.
Camera IconAlbany Farmers Centre 1978 dealer principal Grant Wells took out the Case IH's Dealer of the Year Award. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Mr Wells has worked for the business for 36 years, starting as an apprentice at the Dumbleyung dealership before moving to the Albany branch when it opened in March 1996.

“We believe in the quality of the equipment we sell and we support farmers,” he said.

“Agriculture is such an important industry in the Great Southern.”

Mr Wells said he was only “looking around” the Albany dealership the other day when he realised the six staff in the room had more than 150 years experience between them.

“We have been in the industry for more than 50 years and we have great staff, with hundreds of years of experience between them all,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on our service.”

It is not the first time Farmers Centre 1978 has taken out an accolade at the Dealer of the Year Awards.

It won the same category in 2010.

Farmers Centre was first established in Dumbleyung in the mid-1940s, and later became an international harvester dealer.

It later became a full CASE IH dealer after the merger of CASE and International in 1986.

In 1978, the company became incorporated and was named Farmers Centre 1978.

The second Farmers Centre branch was opened in Lake Grace in 1975, before the opening of Farmers Centre Albany in 1996 and Katanning in 2001.

The annual Dealer of the Year awards honour excellence across CASE IH’s vast dealer network.

Grant Wells with the award.
Camera IconGrant Wells with the award. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Results are based on a number of different criteria, including finance and business management, Advanced Farming Systems Certification and market share.

It also takes into account performance in sales and marketing, as well as performance in parts and servicing.

Victorian and South Australian dealer O’Connor took out one of two top awards of the night, the title for three branches or more.

Tasmanian and Victorian dealer TTMI claimed the award for one or two branches, with its branches at Trafalgar in Victoria and Longford in Tasmania.

It was the fourth time running that O’Connor had claimed a prize but TTMI was a first-time winner.

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