MONDAY, May 20 marked 50 years of service for Ken Lascelles as the farm equipment supplier at AG Warehouse.

Ken’s first role was in May 1974 at the Maffra store, known then as Murray Goulburn Trading (MG Trading), as a bowser boy, when a meat pie cost 20 cents and the average house price in Melbourne was $19,800.

Much has obviously changed since then, but one thing did not, and that is Ken Lascelles representing the MG/AGW uniform.

Ken’s work ethic, knowledge and dedication to the company allowed him to work his way up the ranks through the business to become a true leader of AG Warehouse and the agricultural industry.

During his 50-year career, he managed numerous stores with time at Yarram, Finley and Cobram, but his love for Gippsland led him back to Maffra in 1985, where he still is today.

Ken is a passionate man who has always wanted to do the best for his team and his customers, treating the Maffra business as his own.

When asked what kept him at the company for so long, Ken said, “The people I’ve worked with and the farmers in the community have been awesome and I’ve learned so much from them”.

“There’s never a dull moment and always something going on and to be challenged all the time with different products and to solve problems, it’s so motivating,” he said.

“The highlight was being able to bring my kids and family up while working at the store. All three of my girls and my wife have played a part in this business. I met my wife during the MG Trading Days and all three of my girls have done work experience here in the store. I met my wife, Sue, when she was part of the working team.”

The Maffra AG Warehouse team said they will miss Ken at meetings, where he was always proactive in discussion, and of course part of the banter amongst the team.

“As will head office miss Ken, those daily calls or sometimes numerous, but it was all about making us a better business, and we will dearly miss this,” the team said.

To celebrate the occasion, a surprise celebration was held for Ken last month at the Farmers Arms in Newry, Ken’s local, just outside Maffra.

More than 70 people attended with current AGW staff, (Saputo Dairy Australia) SDA staff, Ken’s family, current AGW suppliers and many ex-staff and suppliers.

The organisers, including Nikki and the Maffra AG Warehouse team, Sue Lascelles and Narelle Taylor, successfully kept it a secret for months as Ken was totally shocked when he walked in and was overcome with emotion upon realising what was going on.

Tony Gomersall, John Blennerhassett and Jason Hobson shared some stories and events, which depicted the fun-loving and team-oriented person Ken is.

AG Warehouse’s head of operations (Southern Region), Tony Gomersall, said Ken’s work ethic, knowledge and passion contributed to him working his way up to become a true leader of their business and a mainstay of the agricultural industry.

“Businesses are built on their people, and in our case, it rings true when you look at the impact Ken has had on our employees and the broader community he serves and lives in,” Mr Gomersall said.

“Ken’s stories and camaraderie have left an enduring mark on everyone who has worked with him.

Ken Lascelles out the front of the AG Warehouse store in Maffra.

“He embodies the spirit of teamwork and is a fun-loving character. These sentiments are echoed by his colleagues, past and present.”

Ken officially finished at the end of June, and will take a well-deserved break travelling around Australia with this wife Sue.

Maffra AG Warehouse hopes that Ken will stay on in the business in a casual capacity on his return from his travels.

“On behalf of the entire AG Warehouse team, we wish you all the best Ken, you are a legend!” his team said.