60 YEARS DOING WHAT WE LOVE - HELPING GIPPSLAND FARMERS.
Gibsons Groundspread is a family owned fertiliser spreading company which has been servicing the local farmers for 60 years. It was founded by Bill Gibson in 1953 when he started carting firewood, split posts and bagged fertiliser to the local farmers of Yarram. In 1963 bulk fertiliser became available ex the Alberton railway and with 60 tonnes worth of orders; the first bulk fertiliser spreader was purchased. This spreader was soon upgraded to one of the first air blast spreaders in the area.
Over the next 10 years, 2 more spreaders were added to the fleet and storage facilities were established at Yarram and Alberton to service the growing fertiliser market. In the mid seventy’s Bill’s son Gavin started his mechanic apprenticeship, while fixing spreaders on the weekend. At the same time, tough seasonal conditions, poor cattle prices and the removal of government fertiliser subsidies saw bulk fertiliser sales stop. With no spreading to do and the need to become more efficient, Bill went to New Zealand to see what he could improve on.
With a Mercedes Benz truck and his first Self-unloading trailer, business started to pick up and with Gavin just finishing his apprenticeship, Bill welcomed his son Gavin into the business and W.W & B.D Gibson & Son was formed. A few years later W.W & B.D Gibson & Son was displaying the New Zealand influence and with a fleet of 3 spreaders and 2 self-unloading trailers, Gibsons Groundspread was created. With Gavin marrying Pam and starting their family, the business grew. In 1989 the Yarram railway was officially closed forcing Gavin and Pam to build the current Yarram Depot. 12 months later Gavin and Pam bought the business off Bill and his wife Bev and at age 67, Bill spread his last load of Fertiliser.
Over the next 10 years, emphasis was placed on Mercedes Benz 4x4 Tractors and MAN 4x4 Trucks in order to handle the wet conditions. With the need to grow the business, Gavin and Pam bought Crawford’s in Traralgon and moved to Rosedale, where they built the most state-of-the-art fertiliser blending facility in Australia. In 2000, Gavin and Pam purchased Darriman Lime in Woodside to secure lime supply for their growing business. Later on Gibsons Groundspread joint ventured with Elders and bought Jondahl’s in Heyfield to create Gibsons Groundspread Elders.
In 2007 when Gavin’s son Damien had finished studying Business and Commerce at Monash University, Gibsons Groundspread bought Elders half of the joint venture. After a short period spreading, Damien took over as the Rosedale Branch Manager and under his management the business continued to grow. Soon after, Gibsons imported Australia’s first Fine Particle Fertiliser Spreader and now operate the only 4 in mainland Australia.
In 2011 Gibsons Groundspread bought Southern Cross Rural in Yarragon as the need to expand their footprint became obvious and 8 months later Gibsons purchased Marslens in Trafalgar so that they could continue to offer the highest quality service possible. Early 2013 Gibsons Groundspread secured the supply of Maryvale Lime, so that high quality ag-lime was readily available to the West Gippsland Market. On their 60 year anniversary, Gibsons Groundspread now celebrates the addition of Revive Recycled Compost to their business and the new Revive blending facility at the Dutsun Depot.
In 2015, Gibsons Groundspread purchased an established spreading depot in Bayles, allowing the company to expand and service even more of Gippsland.
With Gibsons Groundspread now being owned by Damien, his wife Abbey, Gavin and Pam and employing over 90 people, the business is in good hands and is looking forward to the next 60 years servicing the farming community.