“Over 50 years experience in the Broadacre Agriculture Industry”
With over 50 years in the Broadacre Agriculture Industry, RFMNT is one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of retrofit equipment.
RFM’s manufacturing is in its 2nd generation with the next generation coming through. RFMNT has overcome many challenges and celebrated triumphs, by being innovative with new products.
RFM began manufacturing in 1960 when Austin Ryan OAM, a farmer from Beulah, began developing farm equipment in his workshop. After licencing his first cultivator (the Scaravator) to Bolwell & Johns (Horsham), Austin realised a need for more productivity on farms. Uniquely, this would enable farmers to increase efficiency and cover acres quicker during planting. His innovative Scaravator design overtook the industry and propelled the company. Ultimately, becoming one of the largest privately-held agricultural equipment manufacturers in Australia.
In 1972, Austin began manufacturing the Ryan Scaravator, a superior cultivator compared to the original Scaravator. Consequently, it became the most recognised spring release cultivator. In the beginning, the first 50 units were constructed on the family farm. Eventually, due to exponential sales manufacturing relocated to Warracknabeal in Victoria’s northwest.
In 1976, for winter planting, Austin built an airseeder for use on his farm. Therefore, pioneering a new level for planting seed versus the conventional drill system. In particular, a seed hopper that would straddle over the cultivator. This new era of Ryan innovations cemented the Ryans’ leadership in planting equipment. In addition, catching the attention of large manufacturers.
Every company strives for a product ahead of its time. For Austin that would be his single-disc planter in 1983 and his deep banding system in 1986. Obviously, farmer acceptance was challenging at times. Nowadays, both concepts are common practice on farms.
The extreme Australian seasons over the years have been trying for Ryan manufacturing. Whilst the severe droughts presented a multitude of challenges, they seemed to bring out the best in Austin. In turn, these pressures lead to increased opportunities to develop products to aid farmers.
Today, Austin’s son, Paul Ryan is driving RFMNT. At 18, Paul’s journey began at the plant whilst also working on the farm. Due to this, Paul was involved in the development of products from an early age. Including, but not limited to, concept ideas to trials in the field. To sum up, Paul’s passion for the industry meant that he always believed he would take over the family business.
All things considered, Paul is an innovator in his own rights, with his first major development being a clothesline product. As a result, he went and lived in the city of Melbourne for several years. For the most part, it was here that he learned the value of marketing. Notably, in 1992 Paul won the Australian Inventors Award.
These independent ventures helped Paul to understand the special nature of his Father’s company.
In 1993 after 6 years in Melbourne, he returned to Warracknabeal. Furthermore, with a deeper appreciation of the innovators in the industry – ranging from employees, manufacturers, and dealers.
Challenges and Opportunities
Paul has witnessed a multitude of struggles through downturns in the farm economy. Overall, this has driven his strong feelings about adversity and the lessons it teaches. Paul states “Whenever I’ve faced challenges, I’ve learnt how to fight the battle and never give up. You need to figure out how to grow again and move forward. Those are the times that make you think, re-approach and re-innovate.”
Paul has travelled the world in a quest to share the best farming practices and techniques. “It doesn’t matter if I talk to farmers in Kazakhstan or the USA, the business of farming comes down to a similar core. How they practice may vary, but how they approach the idea of getting seed in is practically the same” These farmers say the RFM product is an innovative, easy to use product, which makes their planting practices more productive.
Driven By Our Values
The RFM culture will continue to adhere to its five principles: integrity, excellence, innovation, customer focus and mutual respect. Paul’s father instilled these values into him.
Paul explains “Whilst building a great product that’s helping feed the world, we’re also, making the farmer more productive. It is exciting to see the growth and changes from expanding around the globe. It’s always rewarding to see the results from hard work and taking risks.”
Our mission is to provide outstanding service, with sincerity, quality products and authenticity.
Our vision is to create advanced agricultural technology on an angoing basis and provide consumers with high quality products.
RFM Core Values
We are honest and uphold our high moral principles.
We provide outstanding products and service.
We are forward thinking with advanced product designs and solutions.
We build lasting relationships with customers as they are the overall contributor to our success.
We build enduring relationships through teamwork, humility and respect for all.