2023 Technician Awards Regional Finalists

Meet our 2023 Regional Finalists who are progressing through to the final stages of the Technician Awards program.

Ag Service Technician of the Year Finalists

Greg Bishop in front of John Deere equipment

Greg Bishop, Otago Farm Machinery, Mosgiel, New Zealand

After taking home the title of New Zealand John Deere Technician of the Year Award in 2022, Greg Bishop is proud to again be nominated for the coveted title this year. Holding dual trades in heavy diesel and auto electrics, Greg has spent most of his career in agriculture – working for many years as a dairy farmer and then as a tractor driver on a station in the region's high country.

Based at Otago Farm Machinery in Mosgiel, west of Dunedin, Greg says he has always been interested in mechanical systems, from pulling apart all his brothers' toys as a youth to fixing up motorbikes and vehicles. It made sense for him to become a mechanic.  While his favourite part of the job is travelling around Otago's countryside and providing high-quality servicing and repairs to farmers, Greg says he also likes catching up with his customers and meeting all the farm dogs during his visits.

Lachlan Corridan in front of John Deere equipment

Lachlan Corridan, Haeusler's, Sea Lake, Victoria

Growing up in the rural town of Swan Hill, Lachlan Corridan knew many people in agriculture and had his sights set on working in the industry from a young age. After completing work experience locally as a service technician, he knew he had found the right career for him and started a full-time apprenticeship. Upon completion, Lachlan moved west to work at the Haeusler's John Deere dealership in Sea Lake to gain more experience with broadacre machinery.

Working in the heart of Victoria's Mallee wheatbelt region, Lachlan has become a specialist on combine harvesters and self-propelled sprayers and says his customers are good people, and their trust and support is what he loves most about his job. He is a strong advocate of John Deere equipment, saying it is the best in market, and as such, he always ensures his level of service equals that standard. He's equally eager to share his enthusiasm with young people as they seek their own career path saying his advice is always the same - if you're offered a role in a John Deere dealership, seize it with both hands!

Bryce Dickson in front of John Deere equipment

Bryce Dickson, Brandt, Whangarei, New Zealand

A self-professed 'petrol head', Bryce Dickson started his career in the automotive industry before shifting gears into agriculture at the start of the global financial crisis. While it was a steep learning curve, Bryce was able to transition his skills using the principles he had learned servicing cars and is now recognised as a Master Technician from the John Deere University.

Whether it's diagnosing complex problems with tractors, helping farmers adopt and implement precision agriculture technologies, or optimising equipment performance, Bryce says each day presents new opportunities to learn and grow. His technical skills and outstanding customer service saw him awarded the inaugural recipient of John Deere's Technician of the Year award in 2021.

His first-hand experience owning a small farm of breeding cows gives him a deeper understanding of the needs and demands of farmers. Bryce finds it incredibly fulfilling to mentor apprentices and see them blossom into skilled technicians, and he's making the most of new opportunities from the expansion of Brandt Whangarei into Construction & Forestry equipment.

Francois Groenewald in front of John Deere equipment

Francois Groenewald, Hutcheon & Pearce, Griffith, New South Wales

Francois Groenewald completed his first engine replacement at the age of 13 on a Ford Fairmont GT while living on his family farm in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. After studying mechanical engineering for one year after high school, Francois returned to manage the family farm and workshop, which housed more than 55 tractors. He qualified as a diesel mechanic in 2010 and furthered his career in an agriculture dealership before branching out into his own business. A visit to family in Griffith, New South Wales during 2019 culminated in Hutcheon & Pearce sponsoring Francois and his family to relocate to Australia where he could take up a position as a Master Diagnostic Technician.

For someone who has worked across many makes of equipment during his career, Francois says he prefers John Deere above any other brand. His favourite part of the job is working with farmers and helping to minimise their downtime, saying that their appreciation is ‘priceless’.

Karl Moschella in front of John Deere equipment

Karl Moschella, Honeycombes, Ayr, Queensland

Karl Moschella started as an apprentice at the John Deere Honeycombes Ayr dealership 21 years ago and proudly admits he 'bleeds green'. Since then, he has become a Master Technician. Karl also runs the pre-season maintenance program for John Deere sugar cane harvesters across North Queensland, which requires him to travel to all Honeycombes branches and carry out onsite inspections to collect data used to establish preventative maintenance plans for these machines.

As a sugar cane harvester specialist, in 2018, Karl was invited to the John Deere Thibadoux factory in Louisiana, USA to help identify quality control measures on the assembly line. Karl's passion for the John Deere product has led him to where he is today in the Honeycombes group and in the sugar cane industry as a well-known identity.

David Nicol in front of John Deere equipment

David Nicol, Pringles Crouch, Crystal Brook, South Australia

David Nicol started his working life as a small motor mechanic in Central Australia fixing a variety of machinery ranging from whipper snippers through to graders. Gradually working his way through the automotive industry, it was at Pringles Crouch in South Australia where he moved into the agriculture workshop 10 years ago to focus on the service and maintenance of John Deere equipment.

Now part of the service leadership team, David says the variety of work he undertakes each day keeps his job interesting and fresh. Located in the heart of some of South Australia's most productive sheep and wheat country, he enjoys travelling around the region to visit farmers and help them get the best out of their John Deere equipment. David is a positive role model and encourages junior staff to ask questions, be willing to listen and learn from others.

Vincent Powditch in front of John Deere equipment

Vincent Powditch, RDO Equipment, Taree, New South Wales

Vincent Powditch has been a whisky taster, a security guard for pop icon Taylor Swift, and mechanically, has worked on everything from golf buggies to luxury yachts. He says the day he met his first John Deere, he was intrigued and impressed with the technology, and jumped at the chance when a position came up at RDO Equipment in Taree.

While he's had an eclectic career, his proudest moments are watching his apprentices graduate and getting farmers working again. Vincent loves working with the big John Deere equipment and has a deep interest in fast moving technology, fascinated by the way space and satellite technology is translated into systems for everyday use. He says working on one of the best brands in the world and being supported by a world-renowned company is something he truly values and for those considering a career as a tech, Vincent's advice is to ensure you have 'passion, patience and a love of all things that go vroom!'.