Luisetti Seeds bids a fond farewell to Ken Townley

Ken Townley of Luisetti Seeds struggles to lift swedes grown by Jonathan Austin, Aroha Downs, Oxford

Ken Townley of Luisetti Seeds struggles to lift swedes grown by Jonathan Austin, Aroha Downs, Oxford. August 2018

Ken clearly remembers the exact date he began working for Luisetti Seeds: the 11th January, 1999. Ken is our Retail Manager at Luisetti Seeds. Five years ago, Ken was also asked to take up the role of Health and Safety Officer.

Now, 20 years later, we bid Ken a fond farewell and best wishes for his well-deserved retirement.

“I have worked with some colleagues for a long time,” said Ken. “I am certainly going to miss them, and the clients I have dealt with over the years. I’ve come to know some of them very well. It’s always been a very rewarding part of the job to have built longstanding relationships with people. I really enjoy that. It will definitely leave a hole in my life not to have them anymore – especially as I won’t be living locally.”

Being with the company so long, Ken has seen some big changes.

Ken Townley with blue lupins at the Luisetti Seeds main office, October 2018

Ken Townley with blue lupins at the Luisetti Seeds main office, October 2018

“The last 20 years has seen huge changes in the face of proprietary seeds and we’ve had to go with that,” said Ken.

It’s not just the industry which has changed, but Luisetti Seeds as a company. When Ken started there were 3 agents – now there are 3 times that many! The company has grown hugely in the last 20 years, not just in people but in products.

“20 years ago, we had one wheat variety – now we are leading the wheat breeding industry in New Zealand. I think Vincent can be credited for that,” said Ken.

Before Ken came to Luisetti Seeds, he spent 28 years farming. It was quite an adjustment to go from working as an individual to working as a team.

“Working as a farmer, you can spend long hours working alone, and not seeing people for ages”, said Ken. “I’m most pleased with having formed lasting relationships with clients, not just selling relationships. I think respect and positivity are important in any relationship, especially working as a team.”

When asked what he was going to do with his time, Ken said he would continue to paint. Ken likes painting watercolours and is most inspired by the works of L.S. Lowry. He’d like to try oils, but his first year of retirement is going to be spent exercising his creativity in a different way: building a house at Lake Tekapo!

Best wishes Ken, from all of us at Luisetti Seeds.