'Sale-o' is a familiar cry at selling centres across Queensland and this week it had a particularly special ring to it for GDL agents as it marked 25 years since the livestock network began at the Dalby saleyards.
GDL, originally known as Grant Daniel Long, was founded in February 1997 by the highly experienced and respected former Primac branch managers, Noel Grant and Jamie Long, joining with the youthful team of Peter Daniel and John Cullen from Dalby Rural Supplies.
The balanced blend of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm immediately clicked as the company sold 25 per cent or 57,000 cattle through Dalby saleyards in its first year of operating.
Founding co-principal and managing director Noel Grant described the growth of the livestock network as building the wheelbarrow before they could push it - "and boy did we have to push it up hill somedays".
The two initial branches were Dalby with Noel Grant and Peter Daniel and office assistant Vicki Robin, and Jamie Long and Graeme McAdam at the Taroom office.
While Noel Grant no longer has a financial interest in the business as he retired in 2012, you don't have to talk to him for too long to know just how proud of the GDL business he still is, particularly on how it has grown and what the company stands for.
He too, remembers the first Dalby sale two days after opening for business with a yarding of just shy of 1000 head largely supported by Taroom district vendors.
"We asked the then Queensland Country Life markets commentator Stan Wallace to sell the first pen, then I took over," Mr Grant said.
"We built the business on honesty, integrity, professional advice and service to our clients."
Mr Grant said from day one, they knew they had to build a business that was big enough, strong enough and very appealing for another purchaser to want to buy it - "and now being part of the Nutrien banner we did it".
"From the first day we made the decision that each branch had to be profitable, before we opened the next branch," he said.
"We did this with staff we knew had the ability and we trusted, as well have have the same culture we had and wanting to be part of a winning team."
The business grew considerably and by 2006 GDL had opened 12 branches and added rural property and real estate, rural merchandise, insurance, stud stock and finance to the services available to the clients.
Under Noel Grant's leadership he grew the business from inception to the largest private agency network in Australia who joined forces with Ruralco.
Peter Daniel, co-founding partner and now managing director of GDL, took over the reins on Mr Grant's retirement.
Under Mr Daniel's watch the business has grown to 20 branches in Queensland and two in the Northern Territory and a staff of 75 people.
"Two and a half years ago we joined a venture with Nutrien through our Ruralco partnership," he said.
"This took us from access to 2000 people to a support base of 6000, and provided us with an enormous network, back office support, and a balance sheet to allow us to continue to service our clients.
"GDL is very fortunate to be able to carry on the traditional agency practices with support from the Nutrien network, with our greatest assets our staff and clients.
"GDL excels in staff retention and we are committed to our clients."
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