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Julian Shaw announces retirement

Julian Shaw announces retirement

Julian Shaw has announced his retirement from Agronico as Managing Director, leaving the company in good hands and with a bright future continuing to lead and innovate in agricultural services in Tasmania.

Julian is well known and respected throughout the agricultural industry for providing solutions to Agricultural problems. Having received his Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Tasmania in 1973, Julian joined Vecon and then moved into research for GlaxoSmith Kline for 9 years. In 1985 recognising the need for independent agronomy advice, he took a chance and Agronico was formed.

From humble beginnings providing reliable independent advice to growers, Julian noticed a need for a research division to solve technical problems regarding new chemicals, and tissue culture of Pyrethrum. After working for several years with Pyrethrum, Julian saw an opportunity to develop tissue culture, and soon after began running trials on hydroponic minituber potatoes. Over a 15 year period, his team refined the process for production of high quality predictable seed potato minitubers, which formed the bases for the development of an extremely successful seed potato production and cool store business employing over 35 Tasmanians.

In his role as Managing Director, Julian has worked with a wide range of Tasmanian businesses including Botanical Resources of Australia, Simplot, McCain, Websters along with a large cohort of vegetable farmers across Tasmania and further afield. Julian was also a member of the Onion Board of Australia.

Julian had a unique approach to problems, seeing them as an opportunity to learn, and to develop better methods. His enquiring mind was always searching for better ways to eliminate a weed, or prevent a disease, or provide nutrition to a crop. His work has left a lasting mark on the poppy industry (early weed control), onion industry (Botrylis control), pyrethrum industry (weed and disease control), broccoli industry (nutrition and insect/disease control) and seed potato industry (minitubers, nutrition, grading, storage).

There are many in the agricultural industry who have benefitted from Julian’s knowledge and insights. He has always been enthusiastic and generous in mentoring younger participants: encouraging them, challenging them, and always giving them room to make mistakes. He is a true visionary and a wonderful leader who has transformed the company from one employee in 1985 in the garage of his house to one of the North West Coast’s largest agricultural businesses.

Julian’s retirement is the successful culmination of a multiyear succession plan transitioning the leadership of Agronico. In 2017 Robert Graham took over as CEO and Julian’s children Kate & Robert have joined the management team in their respective fields of expertise. Agronico will continue to operate as normal and customers can look forward to many more years of reliable quality seed potato production, agronomy advice and factory and cool store services.

We thank Julian for his considerable contribution to Tasmania’s agricultural industry and the careers and livelihoods of so many people over his 40 + year career. And we wish him all the best as he spends time with his children and grandchildren.

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