John Deere Technician of the Year Award winners claim their prizes

In a hotly contested claim for fame they came from all parts of the country and NZ to vie for what is becoming the coveted technicians top award

The big four from the heavily contested John Deere Technician of the Year Awards for 2023 boiled down to hard work and a little extra skill on their side – shown here from left to right are Darcy Miller Honeycombes Ayr Queensland, Poppy Blohm AFGRI Equipment Narrogin Western Australia, Lachlan Corridan Haeusler’s Sea Lake Victoria and Sarah Lewis Brandt Terang Victoria

Four talented technicians claimed top titles at the annual John Deere Technician of the Year Awards for 2023 at a gala dinner in Brisbane.

Lachlan Corridan and second time winner, Sarah Lewis, have been named the Agriculture & Turf Service Technician of the Year and Parts Technician of the Year respectively, while Darcy Miller took out the Service Apprentice of the Year Award.

Poppy Blohm received the Parts Apprentice of the Year Award against a competitive field of Australian and New Zealand apprentices.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Luke Chandler, congratulated each of the Australian winners and emphasised how important their work was to prosperous industries and local communities.

“Lachlan, Sarah, Darcy and Poppy have demonstrated exemplary performance among a high calibre field of finalists and should be incredibly proud of their efforts in taking home their respective Awards tonight,” Mr Chandler said.

“There can only be one winner in each category, however after meeting many of the technicians in Brisbane over the past few days, it’s clear we have a terrific pipeline of talent servicing John Deere equipment and supporting our customers across the country.

“I would also like to acknowledge the New Zealand winners, Bryce Dickson, Jimmy O’Donnell and Mark Haughton for their achievements tonight.”

John Deere Technician of the Year 2023

The heavily contested Agriculture & Turf Service Technician of the Year was taken out by Lachlan Corridan (centre) shown here with Jason Hannigan Haeusler’s (left) and Emma Ford from John Deere (right)

Agriculture & Turf Service Technician

Lachlan Corridan, Haeusler’s, Sea Lake Victoria

Working in the heart of Victoria’s Mallee wheatbelt region, Lachlan Corridan has become a specialist in John Deere’s combine harvesters and self-propelled sprayers and said he was ecstatic to win his category.

“It’s an honour to have been nominated and selected as a finalist, let alone winning,” Lachlan said.

“I love being a John Deere tech and dealing with customers each day. It’s really fulfilling to get their machines going and to develop long-term relationships with them.

“All my customers are good people and their trust and support is what I love most about my job.”

Employed by Hausler’s in Sea Lake VIC, Lachlan grew up in Swan Hill and had his sights set on working in the agriculture industry from a young age.

After gaining a local apprenticeship, Lachlan chose to move west to work at the Hausler’s John Deere dealership in Sea Lake to gain experience working on the large broadacre machinery.

Deeply committed to his work, the award-winning technician is a strong advocate for John Deere equipment and says anyone who is offered a role in a dealership should seize the opportunity with both hands.

Parts Technician of the Year was a spirited affair with strong chances from many dealerships but in the end Sarah Lewis (second from left) claimed the title for a second time shown here with Luke Chandler John Deere (left) John Pervan from Brandt and Tony Mahar NFF (right and far right)

Parts Technician of the Year

Sarah Lewis, Brandt, Terang Victoria

Successfully claiming the John Deere Australian Parts Technician of the Year title for the second consecutive year, Sarah Lewis from Brandt’s Terang dealership in Victoria’s Western District said it was unique and humbling to be the first to win the award back-to-back.

“We had a fantastic group of techs this year who are also very skilled and passionate,” Sarah said.

“I was fortunate enough to be the title holder for the past 12 months, so it’s amazing to even consider that I’m here for the second time.

“I see this as a great opportunity to develop my skills and support our customers. There’s no greater reward than providing assistance and expertise in parts to all customers, no matter the size of the equipment.”

While Sarah said she doesn’t enjoy being in the spotlight, she understands the important role she can play in acting as a role model to other young people and mentoring them to have a successful career in the agriculture industry.

 The Service Apprentice of the Year Award had everyone on edge due to the high calibre of the field but at the finish it was Darcy Miller (centre) who was thrilled to win the award shown here with Mark Barrett (left) Honeycombes and Steve Wright John Deere (right)

Service Apprentice of the Year

Darcy Miller, Honeycombes, Ayr Queensland

Hailing from the rich and fertile soils of the Burdekin region, Darcy Miller, from the Ayr Honeycombes John Deere dealership, was awarded the John Deere Service Apprentice of the Year in a competitive field drawn from both Australia and New Zealand.

The fourth-year apprentice spent his childhood helping his Grandfather around the family cane farm and said winning the category was a big achievement for him and his family.

“I’ve loved tractors since I was a kid and regularly volunteered for work experience at Honeycombes before starting a school-based apprenticeship, which led to my full-time role,” Darcy said.

“I’ve worked on mowers right through to large cane harvesters, but tractors are still my favourite piece of machinery. I just love seeing the advancements in technology that really help improve farming practices.”

The Parts Apprentice of the Year Award had budding newcomers holding out for a big pay raise with the eventual winner being Poppy Blohm (centre) accepting the award with Wessel Oosthuizen AFGRI dealership (left) and Royce Bell John Deere

Parts Apprentice of the Year

Poppy Blohm, AFGRI Equipment, Narrogin Western Australia

Second year parts apprentice, Poppy Blohm, is proof you don’t need an agricultural background to make a successful career supporting farmers and keeping their machinery up and running.

After growing up in Perth WA, Poppy was keen to pursue a career in the farm sector, which led her to a role at the Narrogin AFGRI dealership in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region.

Poppy now enjoys supporting customers through time-critical seasons including seeding and harvest and said she was very surprised and overwhelmed to win the award given the range of skills and rural backgrounds of the five other finalists in her category.

“All the finalists I was competing against have incredible knowledge, and it’s been great to see how smart and how switched on they are,” Poppy said.

“My job is very insightful, and I love to see how growers work with their machinery. It is so rewarding working with people who have the same interests and making strong relationships with both colleagues and our farmer customers.”

Poppy champions the critical role John Deere’s machinery plays in supporting farmers and their businesses, and her enthusiasm makes her a great role model for other young people considering a career in agriculture.

About the John Deere Technician of the Year Awards

Established in 2021, the prestigious awards champion the important contribution John Deere technicians make to the Australian and New Zealand agriculture, construction and forestry industries, and honour the outstanding service and support highly skilled and committed techs make to the lives and businesses of John Deere’s valued customers.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Luke Chandler outlined how technicians deliver services integral to success by providing highly skilled back-up support and remote diagnostics to ensure optimal machine performance.

With technological advances driving industry growth, future demand for technicians across rural and regional Australia continues to increase,” Luke added.

“It is important for us to recognise and reward our John Deere technicians for striving for excellence and the important contribution they make to the industries they service.”

More than 100 technicians were nominated by their dealerships in 2023, with input from customers, and 30 finalists travelled to the company’s local headquarters in Brisbane this week to be put through a rigorous assessment process, testing diagnostic capabilities, technical knowledge and customer service skills.

How to become a John Deere Technician

John Deere technicians work in dealerships located across Australia and New Zealand providing back-up support and technical expertise to the agriculture, turf, construction and forestry industries. There are many career pathways and progression opportunities, and ongoing training and support in John Deere equipment. Visit the John Deere website for more information: Dealership Opportunities | John Deere AU 

The full list of Technician of the Year Award Winners

Australian Agriculture & Turf Service Technician of the Year

• Lachlan Corridan, Haeusler’s, Sea Lake Victoria

New Zealand Agriculture & Turf Service Technician of the Year

• Bryce Dickson, Brandt, Whangarei North Island

Australian Parts Technician of the Year

• Sarah Lewis, Brandt, Terang Victoria

New Zealand Parts Technician of the Year

• Jimmy O’Donnell, Drummond & Etheridge, Blenheim South Island Construction &

Forestry Technician of the Year

• Mark Haughton, Drummond & Etheridge, Rolleston South Island

Service Apprentice of the Year

• Darcy Miller, Honeycombes, Ayr Queensland

Parts Apprentice of the Year

• Poppy Blohm, AFGRI Equipment, Narrogin Western Australia

See more about all the competing contestants for 2023 on this link.