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John Richard Emmett

The Company founder was John Richard Emmett, born at Lang Lang in the Gippsland region of Victoria. Raised on a small dairy farm, and being the second son in a family of three, there was little opportunity to remain on the farm, so on completion of schooling he began employment in the local bank earning a wage of 95 pound per year. Disillusioned with his career prospects in the bank after one year he left the bank to operate a dairy farm on a share basis. During this time he purchased a small tractor, some tillage and hay equipment and operated in a contracting capacity for the local dairy & potato farmers of the area. This business gradually grew and he soon expanded and at times on a seasonal basis employed up to 10 staff during his early 20`s.

In the early 50`s he saw an opportunity for hay baler contracting on the wheat plains of the Wimmera region. Travelling initially to the Nagambie area while searching for straw to supply the markets in Melbourne, he was directed to the west of the state and thereby began his association with the Rupanyup area.

After contacting and negotiating with a farmer on the Lallat Plains he returned to Gippsland and drove a small Fordson tractor (without cab) & NH baler through Central Melbourne up along the old winding Pentland Hills road, travelling day and night until arriving late one Sunday afternoon. Jack often retold the story of going straight to work that night, as the optimum time to bale was when the dew had settled on the straw and how the next day the district was abuzz of lights going around and round this paddock the previous night out on the plains to the west of Rupanyup.

Night work, balers and any work performed on a Sunday, was at that time, quite uncommon for the area. His markets included race horse stables, market gardens, poultry farmers and the Broadford Paper Mill. The contracting business being seasonal was initially run from the old Royal Hotel in Rupanyup. In 1956 seeing the demand for balers and hay equipment growing, he began selling New Holland hay equipment and Chamberlain tractors from a room in a rented shoe store in the main street of Rupanyup.

Emmett Motors was established in 1957 when a local garage and service station was purchased in Cromie Street Rupanyup. It was during this year that he married a Willaura girl, Myra Cooper then a nurse at the Wimmera Base Hospital. Together they raised their family of 5 children in the local community of Rupanyup.

In 1959 Jack was approached by Massey Ferguson (then a major player in the Australian agricultural scene) to market their full line of product. This partnership flourished and many train loads of Massy Ferguson headers, combines, mowers, balers, rakes, scarifiers and tractors etc arrived at the Rupanyup station on a weekly basis.

In 1966 the business expanded to Horsham with the purchase of land and the construction of the building located between the old Horsham Foundry and the then Ampol service station. To accommodate the growth of business, the building and site were gradually expanded on, with the purchase of various house blocks in the vicinity. This location worked extremely well over the next 36 years, but with the ever increasing size of farming equipment and limited space within the centre of the city the decision was made to move to a more suitable site in regards to space and access. In 2000 a 2.5Ha site with a 200m frontage to the Western Hwy was purchased on the edge of Horsham and a new dealership premises was completed in 2002.

During the years the company won many awards for sales, topping the national figures on a number of occasions. Along the way other franchises were added to compliment the product line up, including John Shearer tillage & seeding equipment, Jetstream spraying equipment, Grizzly discs and many other one line manufacturers.

Then in 1989 after more than thirty years association with Massey Ferguson this franchise was relinquished, mainly due to a downgrading of the MF product line up world wide, i.e. no large 4WD tractors or harvesters, from where a majority of our sales came and would come from in the future.

An opportunity arose at this time to take on the John Deere franchise for the Wimmera region of Victoria. In our first year as a John Deere dealer the Emmett group topped the sales figures for one of the four Australian regions and have since established John Deere products in the Wimmera region.

Further expansion took place in mid 1999 when an opportunity arose for the Group to secure the John Deere franchise in the Swan Hill region. Upon being appointed we had to get a business up and running within a 2 month period. The initial dealership premises were located in Karinie Street with the assistance of Wood and Co local Estate Agents, staffed, stocked, financed and opened by 1st January 2000. The business quickly outgrew this temporary site and a new 5Ha (Two adjoining lots of 2.5Ha) site was purchased on the south side of Swan Hill with substantial frontage to the Murray Valley Highway for future development.

In October 2015, Emmetts acquired Rosenburg Machinery Group, a family owned business in South Australia. The acquisition saw an additional six branches added to the four existing Victorian branches.

The group of companies is now controlled by the board of directors made up of Jack's 4 sons with Peter Emmett being the overall Group Managing Director.

Franchises now include John Deere tractors, harvesters, hay, lawn and grounds care equipment, Goldacres, Croplands, Hardi and Green Tec spray equipment, Bourgault seeding equipment, MacDon windrowers and fronts, Krone rakes and balers, Vicon spreaders, Westfield augers, Grizzly discs and Loxton and Leith slashers, Kelly and Phillips Rotary harrows and pickup fronts.

As farms continue to expand their land size per farm the need for quality equipment, parts, service and technology becomes a core contributor to the farms overall production and profitability. Emmetts has reacted to his by expanding the number of branches to provide quality customer service to the agricultural community that is second to none. Emmetts recognises the diversity of customers is vast across broad acre, livestock, hay, horticulture and viticulture production. As well as serving primary producers, our customers include agricultural contractors, councils, golf courses, and gardeners within our region.

Emmetts is proud to have ten branches in Kadina, Roseworthy, Murray Bridge, Parndana, Pinnaroo and Renmark South Australia along with Rupanyup, Swan Hill, Horsham and Warracknabeal in Victoria in 2016.

The Emmetts Group of companies currently employ over 200 staff, trained in Sales, Service, Parts, Precision and Guidance Technology, Information Technology and Administration at our fully linked computerised branches. We pride ourselves in the long term commitment given by our staff, many with over 10 years and some approaching 30 years service with the company. We have also employed and taught many young people in apprenticeships over the years and have encouraged their development in their chosen careers.