Ep 36: The secret to Andrew Fowler's farm business success

Explore Andrew Fowler's strategies for agricultural success at Chilwell Farms, from diversifying operations to investing in community.

Nov 8, 2023

In this inspiring and enlightening conversation, we sit down with Andrew Fowler, a prominent figure in the world of agriculture, a Nuffield Scholar, and former Chair of both Nuffield Australia and Nuffield International.

Hailing from Condingup in Western Australia, Andrew and his family operate Chilwell Farms, a sprawling agricultural enterprise covering over 50,000 hectares today. Their diverse operations encompass canola, barley, wheat, lamb, wool, and beef, emphasising the harmonious relationship between livestock and cropping.

In this episode, we delve into the remarkable journey of Chillwell Farm, which started as a wool operation in the mid-1990s and has since grown into a thriving grain and livestock business, with grain accounting for a significant portion of their output. Andrew shares valuable insights into how they've successfully maintained both livestock and cropping areas, effectively balancing their portfolio and mitigating risk.

One of the central themes of our discussion revolves around the role of people management in their business. Andrew and his brother Simon employ over 70 people during peak seasons, and they've developed a winning formula for attracting and retaining talent.

Their unique approach to human resources focuses on investing in people and creating a work culture that fosters growth and professional development.

But the Fowlers' impact extends beyond the farm gate. We explore how they, along with other local landowners in Condingup, actively invest in their community to preserve its vitality. By taking a self-imposed levy approach, they're contributing to the growth and sustainability of their small town, bucking the trend of rural areas losing their population.

Andrew also reflects on the role of his Nuffield Scholarship in inspiring his journey of growth and success. The podcast sheds light on how experiences and lessons from the Nuffield program have continued to shape his perspective on agriculture.

Tune in now to hear the compelling story of Chillwell Farm and the invaluable wisdom shared by Andrew Fowler.

Andrew Fowler
Owner, Chilwell Farm