Its Dynamic

The Hills and Hawkesbury Districts were major food baskets for Sydney in the past. Much produce has been grown in the areas such as citrus, grains etc as well as Dairy, Poultry and eggs providing food for the ever expanding Sydney population. Dynamic Lifter

Also, the Hills Shire is commonly called the Garden Shire due to the numerous garden nurseries that abound in the Shire.

Over recent years much of this has disappeared as Sydney’s population growth has seen citrus groves, Dairy and Poultry farms as well as a few garden nursuries giving way to housing development.

Can you remember Alexander MacDonald’s nursery at Castle Hill, Hargrave’s at Dural or Wagon Wheels and Ferguson’s at Baulkham Hills. Alexander MacDonald’s once stood where the Castle Hill Day Surgery building in located. Hargrave’s lies vacant, Ferguson’s on Windsor Rd were opposite The Grove Shopping Centre at Baulkham Hills and now consists of blocks of home units whilst the Wagon Wheels site on Seven Hills Rd, is now a location of the Summit Retirement Homes. These memories also brings to mind the local product now sold world wide of “Dynamic Lifter”.

Dynamic Lifter was created by Norm Jennings at Rouse Hill back in 1969. Norm’s father-in-law was a poultry farmer at Rouse Hill.

Norm, after driving his truck through western NSW, realised that the crops grown by most farmers were not as productive as those grown by poultry farmers. At the time many poultry farmer were changing from open range to a caged shed system and were having trouble with disposing piles of waste chook manure.

Norm set about to come up with an environmental solution to the waste chook manure and the poor production of grain and other crops. Having been an apprentice Fitter and Machinist at the Clyde Engineering Company at Granville, he also gained a Mechanical Engineering degree at the Granville Technical College. He put these skills to work and after five years of research and development he came up with a system that perfected an organic based fertiliser that improved the quality of crops and disposed of unwanted chook manure.

Norm Jennings realised that while chooks couldn’t lay golden eggs, the stuff at the bottom of the cage was almost as good. It took another 15 years to work out ways to convert chook poo into Dynamic Lifter, a fertiliser that’s easy to package, transport and use.

To keep the droppings as dry as possible, he redesigned the birds’ drinking trays to stop water from splashing onto the floor. He then used his engineering skills to develop machines to cure and sterilise the droppings and turn them into pellets, and that’s the secret of Dynamic Lifter’s international success.

Farmers who used it for the first time remarked favourably some saying “it’s dynamite” others saying “it lifts the plants out of the ground”. Nadia Jennings, Norm’s wife, combined the two sayings to come with a name to market the product as “Dynamic Lifter”. From that the family business became established providing employment for Norm, his wife Nadia and their three children who had roles within the business.

With demand continuing to grow a new factory was built in Withers Rd Rouse Hill in 1982. In 1995 the Australian and New Zealand business was sold to Arthur Yates Ltd whilst Norm and his family retained control of operations in America, Hawaii, India, the Middle East, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The company negotiated agreements with poultry farmers in the region around each of the factories. In return for a contract to buy chicken droppings, the company installed its patented equipment in the farmer’s sheds. Farmers benefit from the arrangement because Dynamic Lifter’s drinking system for chickens keeps the manure dry and eliminates pollution and blowfly problems. The company collects manure from each of the farms on a regular basis and trucks it to the factory site to be cured and processed.

Field trials in the 1970s demonstrated the outstanding success of Dynamic Lifter, and it was sold in bulk to farmers and orchardists. In the late 1980s bagged pellets began selling in supermarkets and plant nurseries to home gardeners. Dynamic Lifter is made under licence in the USA and exported from Australian factories to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In 1995, the Jennings sold their technology and rights to Dynamic Lifter for $18.8 million.

Sources: Information gleaned from article written by Clarrie Neal from a collection of stories appearing in the book “Heart of the Hills” compiled by Elizabeth Porter published by the Hills Historical Society 2008 and also from MAAS (Powerhouse Museum).

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