A shared passion
Father-son duo celebrate 50+ harvests with GrainCorp  
December 15, 2023

From humble beginnings as a harvest casual in Walpeup to his current role as the Site Manager at Elmore, Steve Manley has enjoyed a remarkable 40-year long career in the grains industry, most of which has been spent with GrainCorp.  

Growing up in Ouyen in Victoria’s southern Mallee, Steve joined GrainCorp in 1975 and has been an integral part of the company on-and-off for four decades. 

Over the years, he has played an important role in GrainCorp’s Victorian network, having worked at sites in Ouyen, Charlton, Echuca, Elmore and Swan Hill. 

“I’ve seen many harvests in my time and they’re all different. You never get one exactly the same. 

“The last few seasons have been really big, which is really good for the growers and communities in this area.” 

Steve Manley, Graincorp Site Manager

Kyle Manley (left) and Steve Manley (right) on site at Elmore, Victoria

For Steve, harvesting and handling grain has always been a family affair.  

His journey began at GrainCorp’s Walpeup silos, where he worked under the guidance of his father Kevin Manley, who managed the site for close to two decades. 

The legacy continues as Steve, at 62 years old, now works with his son, Kyle Manley, who is GrainCorp’s Area Manager for Central Victoria – making him the boss. 

Kyle’s journey into the grain industry began with a harvest casual role at Mitiamo while studying sport and business management at university.  

After taking a gap year, he was lured to the world of harvesting, becoming the Site Manager at Dunolly before progressing to his managerial role today.  

Currently working his 13th harvest, Kyle says he has learnt a lot from his dad.  

“I’ve spent a lot of time working underneath Steve, learning how to manage site operations, people and maintain good communications with growers, and I instilled those skills when I took charge of a site. 

“He’s not only been a fantastic mentor for me but also for the other young workers on site. They genuinely look up to him.” 

Ariel view of GrainCorp’s Elmore site in Victoria

Kyle says the growth of the grains industry in Central Victoria has led to an extra 100,000 tonnes of storage capacity being added to GrainCorp sites across the region. 

“As growers invest in their harvest capability, it’s important for us to also match this with our services. 

“They couldn’t have asked for better growing conditions this year, so we’re looking at another big receival year in our region. 

“It’s great to see and great to really be flexing the muscles of our new storage facilities.” 

Reflecting on his journey, Kyle says he has discovered a love for the challenges of harvest, the logistics of moving grain, and the significance of looking after commodities destined for people’s tables. 

“At the end of the day, the barley or wheat we handle ends up in your beer or bread, so we’ve got make sure the quality is right and that we look after it.” 

“Taking pride in how we achieve that is a real reward. I love working here; it’s a fantastic industry to be in.” 

A version of this story first appeared on 13 December in The Bendigo Advertiser, available here: https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/8456842/father-and-son-duo-guide-bumper-grain-harvest-in-central-victoria/ 

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Jess Simons

Corporate Affairs & Government Relations Manager

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