RIORDAN Grains is celebrating its 20th year in business this month, following humble beginnings of one man and one truck back in 1996.
Jim Riordan, 46, is the founder and current managing director of Riordan Grains, one of Victoria’s largest grain marketing, transport, and storage companies.
“We buy grain from southern NSW, and predominantly Victoria, to deliver to the domestic market, and also to the export market through our container packing business,” Mr Riordan said.
“We also have a business in bulk storage and handling, where we store and handle different products, from fertilisers to meals.”
From one truck to 26, Mr Riordan credits his success to “lots of hours and work.”
“I always say, the harder you work, the luckier you get,” he said.
“You’ve also got to have the right people around, and you need to be constantly thinking ahead.”
Mr Riordan said this skill is crucial, given the unpredictability of the industry.
“We’re in agriculture, so it has its variabilities, and we need to be able to manage those depending on the season that we’ve got,” he said.
“It’s about continuous management, and knowing what might happen.”
Mr Riordan’s family ran fuel and distribution businesses as he was growing up, as well as some small scale cattle operations.
“I liked the trucks and the cattle, so I guess that’s what led me to combine both of those interests into agricultural transport.”
At a careers day in year 11, Mr Riordan found out about Marcus Oldham.
“I always had the view that studying there would be how I’d pursue my interest in agriculture,” he said.
“So I finished high school, worked for a couple of years as a wool classer and a jackaroo, and then went on to study a three year farm business management course.”
After finishing the course in 1993, he managed the operations of Pastoral Pork Company, a piggery based just west of Geelong.
Three years later, he wrapped up his career at the piggery, and purchased his first truck for Riordan Grains.
Mr Riordan said Marcus Oldham set him up with practical knowledge and skills to start his career in the agricultural industry.
“It helped combine the skills I had coming from a business family, with some proper education, and joining the two is why I think the Marcus Oldham course is so beneficial.”
He said practical skills about numbers and business have been most useful.
“I didn’t need to know how to fix fences or mark calves, but being able to research, and measure and manage your business, is invaluable.”