Rising Through the Ranks – to Find the Perfect Role

Ashley Murphy started his agricultural career as an agronomist, working up to Area Manager for Landmark, State Manager for Ruralco Holdings and National Manager for Yara Australia, before branching into senior management consulting. When he went looking for his next career move he turned to Agricultural Appointments.

Though he grew up in the agricultural area of Yelarbon in southern Queensland, Ashley began his working life in the army and then the police force but “I always knew that’s not where I wanted to end up,” he says, “so I went to uni and, being a country lad, agriculture was what I liked and studied.” He graduated as an agronomist and rose through the ranks of Landmark, Ruralco and Yara before contacting Agricultural Appointments to assist him with his next career move. Ashley dealt initially with Felicity White and then with Managing Director Ray Johnson when a senior appointment became available.

“I worked with Felicity for about 18 months looking at roles and talking every week to find out what was on offer,” he says. “Then Ray contacted me to see if I was interested in a national appointment that we both thought was perfect for me. Agricultural Appointments really helped me to find the right role for where I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.”

That perfect role was as National Sales Manager for Belgium firm Tessenderlo, manufacturers of liquid and potassium sulphate fertilisers. Ashley was flown over to Belgium for an interview and was successful in securing the role. He is now based in Toowoomba, Queensland with regular travel to Victoria to oversee trials and sales. Working with anything from trade agreements to product pricing he employs his extensive leadership ability and strong negotiation skills to develop the Tessenderlo business in Australia, and appreciates the autonomous nature of the international role.

“I was attracted to the position because it was a National Manager’s role and being an international company they don’t just look on a regional basis – they have a bigger mindset and a bigger view on how things should happen,” he says.

Ashley has firm views on the opportunities and challenges facing Australian agriculture. “Export (to developing countries) is our biggest opportunity. Who would ever have thought you would export chicken manure to Vietnam, but there is that much demand you can’t keep up with it.”

Ashley appreciates the work behind the scenes of Agricultural Appointments, in particular in identifying him as a potential high-level candidate for his current role. “They have such good knowledge and intuition on how a candidate and client can fit together, they get this right, and I could not be happier”.

For over 35 years Agricultural Appointments has helped agribusinesses of all types meet the hardest challenge: recruiting the right people. From farm managers to food technologists, winemakers to research scientists and product developers to CEOs, they recruit for roles right across the food supply chain.

“From paddock to plate, we know people: how to find them and make sure they’re right for your role and culture.” Dr. Ray Johnson, Agricultural Appointments

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