It’s been five years since Russell joined the Maxum team and we’re celebrating this amazing milestone. We caught up with Russ to have a chat about his journey and to talk through some of the highlights.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Born and bred on a grain, cattle and sheep property west of Dalby Queensland, I was fortunate enough to spend my upbringing rounding up livestock, driving tractors/harvesters, shooting guns and buzzing around on motorbikes and old cars, which in my view is a perfect start to life.
I now live on a hobby farm in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with my wife Angela and our 2 kids along with a few Herefords grazing around the property.
With work, I had a couple of sales roles across various industries, however I am grateful to have landed in an industry and company where I feel right at home. I am proud of my agricultural background and have been directly involved in dairy since 2012.
Tell us a little bit about your journey at Maxum Foods
I started in a Sales role at Maxum but over the years my role has evolved and now I’m a Sales & Procurement Partner within our Animal Nutrition division.
Working in the dairy industry is what I love. I am grateful to be a part of a dynamic and innovative Australian company who has molded, changed and continues to grow and support this amazing industry.
What do you actually do?
My role is very diverse, and no two days are the same. Part of my role is to work with key dairy processors/suppliers throughout Australia and New Zealand. I procure raw materials and dairy ingredients for formulation into Maxum infant animal feed applications, including our own calf milk replacer brand MaxCare.
I also manage our Maxum animal sales division, supplying key commodities and finished products for various feed applications into domestic stock feed markets.
What’s the one thing that has changed the most during your time at Maxum Foods?
I’d have to say growth and seeing the business adapt. Like most industries we have faced some challenges over the last few years, especially due to covid. We have also seen some record price highs across dairy commodities along with supply chain and logistics challenges. The really positive and remarkable thing is that through these challenges the strength of our relationships with key suppliers and customers has grown 10-fold and continues to grow.
Nicknames: What do they call you in the office?
Most people at Maxum know me as Muddy (as in the Blues singer Muddy Waters) but I’m also known as Russ, Rusty, Mudman plus a few others but best not to mention on this platform!
What is the best ‘work perk’ at Maxum Foods?
For me it’s working alongside some very talented, passionate and like-minded people. Maxum has built an amazing culture over the past 20 years and I’m grateful to part of this family. We work hard to reach our goals and have a bit of fun along the way.
Do you have a favourite story from the last five years that you would like to share?
During one of my first few weeks of employment in 2017 we attended the annual CRT conference and four of us from Maxum were invited to perform in their talent competition. We dressed up as Michael Jackson and together with David Russell, Tom Newton and Rod Shaw we got up on stage and belted out “Blame it on the Boogie” in front of 1000+ delegates. It was a hilarious event to be a part of and it showed me very quickly the type of culture Maxum instilled in their people. Unfortunately, I think there is still a video of the performance floating around somewhere!
What do you get up to when you’re not at work?
I love the water and often head out for a surf at my local surfing spot on the Sunshine Coast (Pipes). Other than that, most weekends you will find me tinkering around on my hobby farm in Palmwoods. You might also see me cooking a BBQ for the family, sitting around a cracking fire and enjoying a few cold home brewed beers.
Congratulations on 5 years Russ, we are looking forward to many more years with you on the team!