Ag Schilling & Co
AG Schilling & Co was established in 1964.
The family farming business has evolved over time to what you see today.
We are no longer “just farmers,” we consider ourselves “Food Growers & Processors’.
“We are custodians of the land for future generations of the family”
The family farming partnership of AG Schilling & Co was established in 1964 by Ashley & Barbara Schilling. Ashley and Barbara took over management of the farm from Ashley’s father, Clare Gottlieb Oscar Schilling, after their marriage in Sept 1964. Oscar and wife, Augusta, had been clearing and establishing the farming land since 1925. The homestead that still stands was built by Oscar.
Ashley and Barbara continued with cereal and livestock rotation farming until their son, Mark, requested a more management role within the partnership in 1992.
From this time on, under the management of Mark and wife, Merridee, AG Schilling & Co has progressed and evolved in many areas of the business. Mark’s leadership moved the business to No-Till farming practices and the use of GPS which has resulted in increased productivity. Keeping up with modern technology & farming practices is important to the business.
AG Schilling & Co have progressed to a total of 2327ha of farmland worked, which includes share farm and leased land. AG Schilling & Co established a seed cleaning & packing facility to have control over the quality of grain that they export. They began exporting their own grain because they wanted to be “price makers” rather than “price takers”. It took a few years, but with the help of export grain brokers, they grew relationships with a few reliable exporters and now ship their grain to many middle eastern countries. The cleaning plant also provides a grain cleaning service, enhanced by the inclusion of a LMC Colour Sorter.
The opportunity for AG Schilling & Co to diversify into seed sales of new varieties was due to seed breeding companies using the cleaning plant. These relationships developed into helping seed breeders to retail their new lines of seed. AG Schilling & Co also have the responsibility of early seed generation cropping, processing and sales. Research companies also plant trials on the property which hopefully will be beneficial to all farmers in time.
Many of AG Schilling & Co’s “sideline” business was developed out of a need to reduce costs to the business and supplement income, as rising land values made the purchase of land near “out of reach”.
Importing agricultural components came from a “Google Search” for seeding points performed by Mark Schilling in 2006. He knew there must be a seeding point that would sow more evenly than what he was currently using. The name “Atom Jet” didn’t appear on the first page of the search engine but made him curious as to why a jet component was in a search for seeding points. After a lengthy time deliberating on these openers (which we hadn’t seen in Australia before), Mark contacted the company and asked, “How can I get some?” they replied “We don’t have a dealer in Australia”. To which Mark responded, “Can I be your Australian Dealer?” Atom Jet’s reply “Sure” (deal ,done – literally). AG Schilling & Co used the tungsten tipped seeding point in 2006 and began importing Atom Jet Seeing Points in 2007. Our import “sideline” was born.
Since that time, due to Mark’s entrepreneurial mind that has the skill to see an opportunity where most don’t, AG Schilling & Co have established “import relationships” with:
The opportunity to make zinc phosphide mouse bait under the “Last Supper Mouse Bait” label came in 2014. South Australia came under attack from those little pesty critters and unfortunately there were some very expensive baits to kill them and in short supply.
So the industry felt there wasn’t enough competition in the market and new players were needed to increase supply and make the bait more affordable. Also to stop the off target killing of wildlife by reducing the amount of unregistered bait being used due to short supply. Mark Schilling was one of those people that saw an opportunity to assist the industry in achieving its goal but also to reduce his input cost in the bait. The relationship with Wilchem, the owner of the “Last Supper” label, commenced.
Over 4 years, the production of mouse bait has tripled and profits being spent to build a more efficient, safer and accurate mixing plant.
Because of the expansion and growth of many areas of the AG Schilling & Co business, the need to employ over 10 staff has been warranted. The farm, cleaning plant and the import business now have managers with staff under them to execute work in a timely and safe manner.
In the last 5 years, with the help of their HR manager, AG Schilling & Co have implemented and maintained a work and safety programme that is conscious of the need to have our employees work in a safe and clean environment.