McGregor Group celebrates 120 years of local business
Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 11:10AM
Warialda Standard

The business of J.A.McGregor & Co commenced in 1897, when John Archibald McGregor Senior set up a stock & station agency in Warialda NSW. He ran this business on his own until 1917, when he was joined by his son Don. Over the following years other staff joined the fold including Ken Scutt and Alan Dinning, and J.A.'s other son John Jnr established a branch of the business at Croppa Creek NSW.

The second world war took a heavy toll with John Jnr and two other esteemed members of the team lost in the conflict, and so Don formed a partnership with his brother in law Bob Smith to help ensure the business could continue. This partnership was very successful and continued until Bob's untimely death in 1965.

During the 1960's Bob's eldest son Doug returned home to join the business followed by Don's sons John and Ian, and a few years later they were followed Bob's younger son Geoff. This partnership of four of J.A.'s grandsons proved to be very successful, with Doug and Geoff running the traditional livestock, property and grain business, John running the machinery business and Ian managing the farm inputs and merchandise.

For the first 50 to 60 years of the business the main emphasis of the business was on the stock and station agency, however the 1960's saw a rapid growth of broadacre farming in the district. This formed the foundation of the machinery business established under John, which grew to be one of the most substantial of its type in the region until John's untimely death in 1985. On the back of this new direction formed the cropping inputs business run by Ian, supplying seed, fertiliser, chemicals and rural merchandise.

In 1978 Ian instigated a move back to the Croppa Creek district, from which the business had had to withdraw from in the years following WW2. Croppa was fast becoming one of the premier farming areas in the region, and the move greatly enhanced J.A.McGregor & Co's presence in this booming sector.

In 1987 J.A.McGregor looked west to Moree for further expansion, and so joined with a small group of local partners to form McGregor Gourlay Agricultural Services with the aim of getting involved in the local cotton market. This business itself grew rapidly, and shortly after J.A.McGregor & Co's centenary in 1997 the two businesses amalgamated to become the one business that exists today. The J.A.McGregor & Co name lived on in a stand-alone stock & station agency that was formed at the time and which continues to form part of the overall McGregor Gourlay group.

The fourth generation of the family joined the business in 2011, with Ian's son Josh coming on board based in the group's head office at Moree NSW and eventually taking on the role of General Manager. In recent years the business has opened further branches across the North West region and even as far as the NSW Northern Rivers, and today has 13 retail branches overall and three livestock and property branches. 

In the businesses 120th year the decision was made to conduct a major renovation of the Warialda premises, which also coincided with 30 years since the establishment of McGregor Gourlay. This enormous task resulted in a brand new look for the branch where it all started, as the business continues to look to the future.

This weekend, clients and customers of McGregor Gourlay are invited to help celebrate 120 years of business in Warialda. The celebration will be held in Hall Street, this Saturday between 4 and 8pm. 

Article originally appeared on Warialda Standard (
See website for complete article licensing information.