The Rural Entrepreneurs: A History of the Stock and Station Agent Industry in Australia and New Zealand

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This richly illustrated book is a detailed history of a uniquely Australasian institution, the stock and station agency. The stock and station agent was a respected and influential figure, coordinating farmers and connecting them to the outside world of banks, wool buyers and government agencies in Australasia and overseas, whose impact on export-led growth cannot be underestimated. Simon Ville examines the ways in which stock and station agents grew from their beginnings in the 1840s as pastoral finance companies to offer a wide range of support services to remote and inexperienced farming communities. In the twentieth century, the leading agents expanded their range of activities and became some of Australasia's earliest nationwide firms and biggest businesses. The Rural Entrepreneurs provides essential insights into understanding Australasia's rural history and economic development up until the end of the twentieth century.