• Av. temp 17.7o
  • Population 6,733
  • Farms 24

Frank & Kate Iannelli

Leeton, NSW

What’s the best part about being a grower?
Knowing that I am in control of the fruit that goes out, knowing that I am producing quality fruit for people to enjoy, having such a direct impact in putting that glass of orange on the breakfast table makes being a grower extremely worthwhile, the best part for me.

Why do you grow citrus?

My grandparents from my father’s side migrated from Italy and started to farm citrus when they arrived in Australia. From that, this has been passed down through the generations, so that’s why I grow oranges. I grew up around it and watched my father work so hard on the fields yet seemed so passionate about it as well. I guess you could say it was pretty contagious, you know, his dedication to his work. Plus the fact that I’m a 3rd generation citrus grower meant all the years of experience and expertise from my grandfather and dad were all passed onto me, so you could say it’s something we’re all familiar and good at. 

Are you hoping to pass on the farm to your kids one day?

I don’t have any children yet, my wife Kate and I just got married not too long ago, but yes definitely, if my children showed interest in continuing the family business, I’d be quite happy. That would make them the 4th generation in our family business, which I think would be a pretty big deal! But, again, this is only if they have the passion to do it. Being a grower is not just something you do for the sake of making a living, it’s a lifestyle and you need to want to do to be good at it. 

What has been your proudest achievement in your farming career?
I’m proud that I’m part of a family business and grateful I have a solid foundation that started me off as a grower. I’ve been lucky to have people like my grandfather and father impart their knowledge and skills and instil their work ethics in me, but the ability for me to purchase my own farm and to go on to make a success out of my own business has also been my proudest achievement to date. I guess you could say that the entrepreneurial aspect runs deep in this family!

People often think all fruits are created the same, but in reality, quality is hard to produce, can you tell us the hard work that goes behind the cultivation?
I personally think the most important aspect of producing quality fruit is getting the timing correct, especially for watering and fertilising. This can be challenging due to adverse weather conditions. We need to be able to think on our feet and work accordingly to the weather conditions. It’s a continually changing and moving schedule for us. We can do our best to anticipate heavy rains, dry weather and everything in between, but we still need to be prepared to work to the unexpected weather. So yes, timing is everything.