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Brydie embraces agriculture career path

McIntosh & Son

While working in the agricultural machinery industry is something Brydie Creagh would never have expected herself to be part of, after more than 12 months with McIntosh & Son, Katanning, as the parts manager, she has been loving her role and connecting with farmers.

AT 26 years-old, Brydie Creagh has wasted no time gaining experience in the agricultural industry.

Armed with an agricultural science and management degree from The University of Western Australia, Ms Creagh has already dipped her feet in many areas of the industry and is no stranger to challenging herself.

Although she grew up on farms in the Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe region and her parents worked in the sector, agriculture wasn't an area that Ms Creagh thought she would pursue.

"I loved living on a farm to a degree, but I always swore that I'd never go into agriculture," Ms Creagh said.

"I thought I was going to be the black sheep of the family."

But her mind started to change in high school when she did an extension program which involved meeting a lot of people in the agricultural industry.

Then a scholarship presented her with an opportunity to learn more about agriculture, this time in New Zealand.

After that her passion for the industry was rock solid and Ms Creagh decided to embark on a degree which would open her up to a plethora of agricultural career opportunities.

So far Ms Creagh's career has included being an agronomist, running field trials for a chemical company, project managing for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and working on farms.

Like many people, Ms Creagh's plans were turned upside down by COVID-19 and at the time she was three months into a new job which would involve her managing lamb production on a farm at Badgingarra/ Jurien Bay.

"I was going to market the farmer's lamb to a boutique market and increase production, but the boutique market was impacted a lot when COVID hit," Ms Creagh said.

But it all worked out in the end as she was soon contacted by McIntosh & Son, Katanning, to be the parts manager, which is her current role.

"I developed a relationship with McIntosh & Son when I worked as an agronomist at Katanning and I knew that it was a forward-thinking company so I took the opportunity," she said.

"It was exciting to come to a state-of-the-art facility.

"I've been at McIntosh & Son for just over a year now."

The Katanning dealership also serves as a distribution centre for the Great Southern, with a massive warehouse that opened in 2019, which led to the creation of Ms Creagh's role.

"When the warehouse was developed, it changed the way the parts department operated," she said.

"They needed a dedicated Katanning parts manager, allowing the interpreters to keep focused on their area of expertise.

"I manage the stock management, customer service and warehouse within the Katanning parts department."

Ms Creagh's role involves people management, recruiting and training, along with customer service and managing both the parts interpreting and warehouse teams.

A lot of her job centres on problem solving, such as process management and understanding how and why processes may not be efficient and determining how they could be done better.

McIntosh & Son

The Katanning dealership also serves as a distribution centre for the Great Southern, with a huge warehouse. Ms Creagh's role involves stock management, customer service and the warehouse within the Katanning parts department.

"Problem solving is the primary part of my job - figuring how to do things better or differently and ensuring the workplace is more productive than reactive," she said.

"I like that my role is very diverse and I'm always doing different things.

"It's very busy but I enjoy that.

"And I like being very in touch with what's going on with farmers in our area and I enjoy the customer service side.

"Customer service has become more of a passion of mine and I enjoy going out on farms with customers."

While she has been working in the agricultural industry for several years, this position was Ms Creagh's first job in machinery.

"I've found it more interesting than I thought I would and I have enjoyed learning more about machinery, parts interpreting and the importance of customer service has become much more apparent to me through employment at McIntosh & Son," she said.

"There's always continual changes and innovation in machinery, which is exciting."

Ms Creagh has found her team very supportive and enjoys the environment she works in.

"I came in with an attitude that the staff here were experts in their fields and we both had things to learn from each other," she said.

"My role was to support them and to help them undertake their responsibilities the best they can and not to micro-manage our experienced staff."

As her career so far suggests, Ms Creagh embraces getting out of her comfort zone, which she knew this role would do.

"I've had to upskill and learn a lot," she said.

"I had very little knowledge of anything to do with machinery parts and specifics of models, so I had quite a crash course in that."

As for what is ahead for Ms Creagh, the plan is to build on her skills and experience at McIntosh & Son.

"I've experienced the challenges associated with the differing seasons and a full financial year, so the focus will be on service and logistics improvements," she said.

"As for the long-term, I'm sure there will be opportunities within the McIntosh & Son group or even possible farming opportunities with my mother and stepfather.

"In the meantime there's much to focus my attention on."