'It's something I regret': Farmer on leaving school early to take over family farm
My father always planned for me to work on the family farm growing vegetables.
School wasn't really for me. I was more interested in sport and the social side, but I really should have been listening to the teachers and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.
I always knew I was going to end up working on the farm, so I didn't really apply myself, and I decided to leave after my inter-cert. It's something I regret.
I feel if I had stayed in school I would have had more confidence in business situations in the early days.
I spent years learning the trade from my dad and it soon came time for me to take over the business. Like so many people taking over a family business I thought I knew better and could do it better which, of course, was very naive.
I didn't realise just how competitive the industry was. My father had always made it look so easy and had built great relationships over the years. At the beginning, I always took people at face value and trusted them.
I could be supplying restaurants with fresh salad leaves and vegetables for a couple of months, and when I went to get paid they wouldn't have the money.
This was an expensive mistake which, unfortunately, happened to me a couple of times but I learned to always do my homework on the businesses I was supplying and not to be so trusting.