Naracoorte Seeds Celebrates 60 Years

On the 18th of November Naracoorte Seeds celebrated it’s 60th Anniversary at the local Naracoorte Twilight Races.  The day was enjoyed by past owners Bob & Gini Tidy, current owners Jamie and Peta Tidy and Joshua and Emma Rasheed, current and past employees and over 200 local growers, suppliers and customers from near and far.

Naracoorte Seed Sales was established in 1962 by John Clarkson who had previously managed Wright Stephenson & Co in Naracoorte.  Originally the main purpose of Naracoorte Seed Sales was to clean pasture seeds – predominately Currie Cocksfoot, Demeter Fescue, Phalaris and Sub Clover and also marketing the seed locally and nationally which complimented the cleaning business. 

In December 1980 after 14 years with Wright Stephenson Bob Tidy joined John Clarkson as a partner in Naracoorte Seeds. In September 1981 Bob and Gini Tidy bought the balance of the business from John Clarkson who passed away shortly after. 

In 1982 Mark Williams was asked to “babysit” Naracoorte Seeds while Bob and Gini attended their first seed convention in Adelaide. Mark began as a clerk but soon became involved in sales and exporting, as demand grew. Mark is the longest staff member of Naracoorte Seeds celebrating 40 years of employment this year. Mark’s main role now is export/import documentation which has seen a big growth in the export arm of the business, South Australian Seed Marketers.

Jamie Tidy and his wife Peta moved to Naracoorte from Alice Springs in 2003, when Jamie began his apprenticeship working for the family business. Jamie and Peta became business partners with Bob and Gini in 2008 then 2 years later Bob retired and Jamie became Managing Director of Naracoorte Seeds. 

Due to the growth in business locally, nationally and internationally, Jamie employed his old Sacred Heart school friend Josh Rasheed who began in 2011. Josh was working with his father in a real estate business in Meningie which due to the drought throughout the region real estate was going through a difficult time. He and his wife Emma had just had their first child and it was a big decision to move away from family at that period of time.

“It was a difficult decision to leave my hometown Meninge and our family real estate business, but it was the right choice.” Josh explained.

Josh learned the ropes as Jamie previously had from Bob and Mark and has not looked back. In 2015 Josh and Emma became business partners and are now equal business owners with Jamie and Peta Tidy.

“You can’t run a successful business without good staff and we have had some great staff throughout our years in business” Jamie advised.

Carol Lampard commenced with Bob and Mark in 1992 assisting with office duties, until retirement in 2015 once she had passed her wisdom onto Peta who started working for the family business in 2012.

Store Manager, Clinton Gibbs began in 1996, Jamie describes Clint as a work horse “It’s very rare that I ever beat Clint to work even on sleepless nights when I get to work at 4am in our busy time.” 

Dylan Brodie was employed in 2015 to assist with sales and contract cropping.  He has learnt a lot in his time with Naracoorte Seeds and his wife Emilie has joined the business this year taking on the role of Inventory Manager. Heidi Moyle was employed in 2019 to assist Peta in administration and has taken on all accounts payable and receivable allowing Peta to focus on the financial aspects of the business.

Every year Naracoorte Seeds assists a numerous amount of local sporting and show organization.  “For the past 3 years we have donated $5 from every Winter Mix bag sold to a different charity, this year we donated to BlazeAid who offer a great service to farmer’s during difficult times.”

Naracoorte Seeds and South Australian Seed Marketers continues to grow in the ever-changing seed industry, something Managing Director Jamie is very proud of “We pride ourselves on developing and maintaining strong relationships with everyone we deal with from growers, suppliers, customers, freight companies and everyone in between because without them you don’t have a business.  We are now dealing with 3rd and 4th generation farmers which is a great achievement that we hope to continue.”.