AFTER almost 50 years in the farm machinery business Boekeman Machinery isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, with the addition of young gun Ben Boekeman to the family organisation.
He joined the company in July, 2015, becoming the first of the third-generation of Boekemans to do so.
Boekeman Machinery was established in Wongan Hills in 1968 by Ben’s grandparents Bill and Pam and is now run by his father Stuart, and uncles Andrew and Tim.
The business has expanded to dealerships in Dowerin, Northam and Dalwallinu and is home to several franchises including Case IH, Ausplow, JCB, Marshall, Trufab and Flexicoil.
The eldest of three sons, Ben grew up in Wongan Hills and attended the local primary school before becoming a boarder at Hale School in Perth.
After graduating in 2009 he started a commerce degree at The University of Western Australia, majoring in marketing and accounting.
During university breaks Ben would often return to the Wongan Hills branch to help out in parts secton and the workshop, as well as enjoying family time.
Upon completing his degrees the country boy was hired by Osborne Park accounting firm Plexus Global Consultants, starting a career as a taxation consultant.
It was while working here that Ben realised his future was in agriculture.
“After about a year and a half working at the firm, I wanted more customer contact,” he said.
“I was sitting behind a desk all day just punching out numbers and it just wasn’t for me. “I suppose I grew up in agriculture, it’s kind of in your blood.
“I didn’t actually plan to come back and I think what I appreciated was that no one ever really pushed me, it just kind of happened and I decided that it was where I wanted to be.”
The 24-year-old has joined the machinery sales team at the Wongan Hills branch and found his niche by improving the company’s marketing.
“My degree has helped a lot with the updating of the website and all the marketing we do on social media,” he said. “A lot of that stuff dad and my uncles weren’t too aware of so I got that up and running.”
Ben has also completed training in precision agriculture and wants to continue this as technology advances.
“I’m certainly still getting my head around everything and there’s a lot going on but it’s good, I’m really enjoying it.
“Everything is changing so much, especially with precision farming so you’ve got to keep up to date.”
As the agriculture landscape continues to change Ben said his focus was helping the business improve and adapt. “Farms are getting a lot bigger so that’s a challenge dealing with less people and more corporates, so the way you do business definitely changes.