Living Turf recently celebrated 12-months as the National Distributor for Rain Bird Golf products.
First positioned as the Perfect Partnership (combining Irrigation + Agronomy, success required that Living Turf learn a whole new market sector, which is very different to the agronomy sector we were used to.
We take this opportunity to reflect on the key milestones that have shaped the Living Turf Irrigation Business.
Living Turf WA was the business model that Living Turf chose to test the water – so to speak.
Irrigation specialist, Tyson Riley, was recruited from day one, to underpin the WA agronomy sales team with specialist irrigation experience. Tyson’s challenge was to win the trust and support of existing channel partners and advocate for Rain Bird technology direct to WA superintendents.
Tyson’s employment was a leap of faith that turned out to be a master stroke, given the positive response from WA channel partners, the observed market shift in favour of Rain Bird, and the opinion of state manager, Danny Hambleton. Danny says “Tyson is a weapon. The energy and knowledge he brings to helping our customers, in representing both Living Turf and Rain Bird is an inspiration. Jeff Lane and I just let Tyson take the lead on irrigation, and support him by prioritising the opportunities that require his attention”.
In South Australia, at the same time Tyson was joining Living Turf WA, Shane Carman was raising his hand to be the irrigation specialist for South Australia and The Northern Territory.
A factory trained Rain Bird specialist himself, as well as a respected sales agronomist, Shane has combined with Daryl Sellar to be a shining example of The Perfect Partnership – South Australian style.
Elsewhere in the country, for the first 9 months of this partnership, Mac Ross (National Irrigation Manager for Living Turf) was the ‘go to guy’ for the Eastern seaboard. However, observing our success in the West, it was clear that the Qld, NSW, ACT and Vic sales teams deserved their own dedicated irrigation specialist.
Enter Martin O’Malley. Martin joined Living Turf in July 2020, with the expressed brief from Mac Ross being, “do what Tyson and Shane do. Advocate for Rain Bird Technolog, represent it, promote it, and partner with existing distributors & installers who support Rain Bird”.
On this anniversary, General Manager of Rain Bird Australia, Rob Nadebaum, comments, “we have done a good thing for the turf industry by appointing Living Turf as the National Distributor for Rain Bird Golf Products. Irrigation and agronomy are such interrelated aspects of turf management, it just makes sense to link their sales, service and support”.
As Director of Living Turf, my view is “this venture would not have worked as well as it has without starting from a position of respect for the irrigation sector. The appointment of Mac Ross from the outset was critical. Mac has lead our irrigation business with certainty, insight and respect to the existing supply channel”.