This week on the podcast we have the wonderful Prue Bondfield.
Prue didn't have a traditional pathway into agriculture. "In terms of the beef industry my association there started when I got married to my husband who owned a Charolais stud. I was a lawyer in Brisbane, Queensland." Says Prue. "It was really city meets country in the best way".
From the time David and Prue purchased 50 cows from her Father in law, the stud went from strength to strength. "We ran the Palgrove seedstock herd for 35 years and in summary exited that business early this year".
Mark asks, now that Prue and David have built and exited a successful business, with the power of hindsight would they do anything differently now?
"You learn by trying. If it hadn't been invented, we'd try and develop or pioneer something. We found that over our life we had to find different ways of breeding our cattle or different breed standards for us.. they're not things you'd do differently but they certainly make character."
"When you do things half right, you never feel great about it." Says Prue. "It feels better if you're doing things really really well, to the best you can do it and producing quality at the other end."
Prue credits the key factors to their businesses success to a few things. First was leasing land whilst they increased their numbers. "We had a factory operating before we bought the factory floor [...] So we had productive animals ready to move onto any new land that we bought."
"Once embryo transplants started to become part of the norm in the business, that really jumped our numbers up. There was this never-ending game of chase behind the production. And then that gets to the certain point where you become a big supplier."
Prue says they never intended to be a large business, they wanted quality over quantity but they were obviously onto a winning formula!
"We started to think about how we raise some capital, to raise some to find a partner who will very much be part of this growth story." "We started to look for a partner. We did look all over the world." One essential for success was that Prue made sure he business was ready for investment. Prue says "You have to be operating as a corporate entity in a family business which is what we really gave a lot of time into getting that right prior to looking for capital".
Prue now sits on a range of boards and governance structures and still has connections throughout the industry. Mark asks Prue's thoughts on the health of industry and what innovations are required to take it to the next step.
Prue chats about some of the companies of boards she's on "One of them is an AgriTech company called Black Box Co. It's fantastic, it gives me a really good insight on what farmers are asking for in terms of practical, good technology"
"There is that sense now, that I haven
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