Ten years ago, in August 2004, three excited farmers stood before a room of ninety people in Brisbane and launched KLR Marketing. To Rod Knight, Jim Lindsay and Grahame Rees this marked the culmination of a year’s work; a year that began in Texas, USA under the tutelage of legendary stockman Bud Williams.
Bud had first toured Australia in 1999 and imparted his stock-handling wisdom to interested graziers across the country, and in subsequent years he teased and enticed Rod, Jim and Grahame with a new method of marketing livestock. The three travelled to America to attend one of Bud’s marketing classes and then designed a model suitable for Australian conditions.
“Eight hundred people had listened to Bud when he was here and there was a whole network of LSS and RCS graduates who were hungry for this new (marketing) knowledge, and hungry for these principles,” Grahame says of the first Australian school, which exceeded their expectations.
Steve Bennett chats with Jim Lindsay
A second KLR School soon followed in the chilly climes of Orange, NSW and Steve Bennett was among the 67 attendees. “I had known Grahame previously and knew he and Rod and Jim were building this program so I was keen to go, and over the years I have watched as they have honed and improved it. I take my hat off to them – instead of keeping this knowledge to themselves they are sharing it for the benefit of the entire industry,” he says.
The continual refinement and improvement of the schools is something all three strive for. “Rod, Grahame and I sat up the front (of Bud’s American school) and each night we would still argue about what he said, so there is no-one more aware of people’s interpretation of what you say than us. We’ve been very careful about how and what we teach and we continue to develop that and try to get it clearer and clearer,” Jim says.
In the ten years since its inception KLR Marketing has seen almost two thousand people pass through the schools and to support graduates, the Mastermind network was introduced in 2006. It, too, has changed over the years and today represents a strong community of livestock producers. “Mastermind was Grahame’s idea,” Rod says. “He was the big driver of it.” Weekly conference calls and regional training days have always been part of Mastermind but since 2012 there have been week-long gatherings hosted in turn by the Lindsay, Knight and Rees families, which have proved most popular among members, providing a safe environment for constructive and honest discussion. “People join for the product and the tools but they stay because of the community, and that’s what is unique about Mastermind,” Grahame says proudly.
Attending schools, repeating schools, involving spouses and joining Mastermind is a learning experience common to many in the KLR family.
The Lawrie Family
Peter Lawrie was at the first school in Brisbane and he returned, with wife Simone, to a school in Emerald in 2008. “We have been Mastermind members from the beginning and it has been exciting to watch KLR evolve over time,” Simone says.
This evolution may be reflected in changes in school content over the years but the principles remain the same; principles that underpin not only KLR Marketing but the many sheep and cattle operations that have benefitted from the teachings of these enterprising and committed men.
Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of KLR Marketing.
“What is KLR’s secret weapon? We believe they have just the right mix of personalities!”
– Peter and Simone Lawrie, Westwood, QLD (Brisbane 2004, Emerald 2008).
“KLR – Kalculating Livestock Returns, Kindling Living Rewards. Happy Birthday KLR”
– Grant and Liz Molloy, Mandurama, NSW (Armidale 2011, Orange 2012).
“Thanks so much Grahame, Rod, Jim and the KLR network. Happy 10th anniversary and here’s to happy, healthy and prosperous country” –
Rod and Katrina Butler, Perenjori, WA (East Fremantle 2006)
“Our journey with Grahame began in a spa in Adelaide in 2004, which then led us to do a LSS course where we met Rod. Once we met Jim the trio was complete and our business and lives more enriched. Thanks and congrats on ten years together” – Jen Riboli, Ruth and David Read, Perry Bridge, VIC (Emerald 2010, Ballarat 2011)
“Your vast knowledge of landscape, people and your schools has been an amazing help” – Steve Bennett, Bathurst, NSW (Orange 2004 and many more schools since)
Join Grahame, Rod and Jim as they share
"What's KLR all about ?"