Well-respected agricultural figure, Nick Gardner will officially retire in December 2018 following 45 years in the industry, a period during which major leaps in technology have resulted in significant changes internationally and in Australia.
Nick has worked in the UK, New Zealand and Australia for various seed companies.
With nearly half a century of experience across the field, Mr Gardner has seen the commercialisation of agriculture influence important advances in technology, and revolutionise the processes involved in breeding and growing.
The former Pacific Seeds managing director reflected on the developments he has witnessed and been involved in over his career.
“When I first started, the speed of technology meant that people only expected to receive progress updates once a week, the industry of today expects updates every hour and for people to be accessible around the clock,” Mr Gardner said.
“The pace at which we do business has certainly increased, but it’s allowed us as a company to grow faster and into more countries than would have been possible at the beginning of my career.
“Technology innovation has also impacted greatly on the speed, efficiency and robustness of the plant breeding process, which for Pacific Seeds has meant a significant escalation in the scale of our operations.
“Constantly adapting to the increasing scale and investment that is required to grow a business in agriculture has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced.
“It’s been exciting to see the groundwork I helped develop pay off over the last few years, especially with our success overseas and in developing innovative genetic technology and seed production processes.”
Pacific Seeds reinforced their dedication to the development of the sorghum industry with the launch of its new imidazolinone-tolerant grain sorghum hybrid Sentinel, featuring its proprietary ‘igrowth’ trait.
“Looking to the future, I predict that globalisation will continue to play a key role in how the industry develops. We’ll likely see more specialised firms pop up to support the big players, who have taken over from the family run businesses of old,” Mr Gardner said.
“However, when it all comes down to it, it’s the people involved in this industry that make it all worthwhile.
“None of the innovation or progress would be possible without such an amazing team, and make the industry one that I have loved working in. I’m sure it’s the people that I will miss.”
Pacific Seeds current managing director, Barry Croker spoke of the steadfast figure Mr Gardner has been at Pacific Seeds and his devotion to the industry.
“Nick has been a long respected and venerated member of the agricultural industry and his warm presence will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best with his retirement,” he said.