top of page

Lachie Stevens

Lachie Steven XLD Board of Directors

Lachie Stevens grew up on the land. Agriculture is in his blood. He was raised as one of four boys on the family farm near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales’ Riverina. But, when he chose to do Agricultural Science at university, he wasn’t expecting to be talked out of becoming a farmer.

“There were so many tough years on the back of a wool market collapse. There were a lot of despondent farmers out there,” says Lachie. “Everyone said to me, ‘you don’t want to be a farmer. There’s just no money in agriculture.’’’

“That was the catalyst for my career. Agribusiness, the idea of futures and risk management intrigued and interested me. Perhaps there was a better way to do things. I had to get in there, learn and find out if there was a way to protect margins and reduce vulnerability.”

Lachie did study agricultural science. But, he also pursued every avenue possible to learn as much about futures risk management as he could. He worked for esteemed global commodities trading company Louis Dreyfus for seven years, where he met Paul Willows.

“Paul and I found ourselves saying to Tasmanian growers, ‘what do you mean you don’t have a price for your grain?’” he says.

“Grain markets in particular are highly volatile, they fluctuate regularly, sometimes up to 50 percent in a 12-month period. For agricultural consumers and producers, this is a huge exposure.”

“If a grower’s strategy is to sell their wheat when it’s harvested, then their risk management strategy is simply to take the price on offer that day. To pick one day in a volatile 12-month period is a gamble, that is higher risk than managing it through the year.”

“There was a clear hole and we both saw the need to provide a service. We could help agribusinesses create business models that would outperform their budgets and manage margins.”  

Lachie and Paul both married Tasmanians and soon discovered the lack of market opportunities available to the agricultural sector. XLD was created to give Tasmanian agri-business a choice through transparency and price discovery.

“While other companies in Tasmania provide part of the service we do, such as buying grain at harvest, or some before, we buy and sell up to 3 years prior to when the commodity will be delivered,” says Lachie. “This is a service never before offered in Tasmania.”

Lachie and his family are now based in the United States where he also runs Lachstock Consulting, the grain advisory business he founded. 

“My job involves being abreast of everything there is to know about grain and dairy markets worldwide,” says Lachie.

“I need to understand production levels in different markets all over the world, current prices in relation to each other, and how that will affect commodity prices in the future. Based on my research, I provide guidance to my clients on how they can use volatility to their benefit.”

“At XLD, we are not offering advice,” he says. “We are there to provide a price and a market so our clients can act. 

“We facilitate that market transaction and then we provide the logistics. But, we’re not advising our customers when they should buy or sell. The current and forward pricing we put out daily provides transparency and enables them to make informed decisions on their own.”

Before XLD, Tasmanian agricultural businesses were without agency. They were unable to choose when to sell in the future. XLD provides a clear choice; whether to sell or buy based on the numbers. 

“Traditionally, farmers have had no choice but to hope for the best at harvest. It’s one of the reasons why people advised me not to become a farmer 20 years ago. Rather than being passive, our clients can be absolute price takers at a very important time of the year.”

“All the best farmers I’ve met are planned and organised in the way they run their businesses. They have systems in place. It should be no different when they buy or sell commodities.”

“I’m glad I chose this path,” he says. “Whether I’ve given advice to farmers through Lachstock, or provided price discovery through XLD, I feel I have made a contribution to agriculture, which is what I set out to do, and there is unfinished business out there”

John Tuskin

John Tuskin XLD Board of Directors

John Tuskin has spent 40 years in Tasmanian agriculture, bringing about progress with his natural leadership style and business mind.


Starting his career with an interest in finance, John’s pathway was altered when he was introduced to the managers of TP Jones, whilst working a casual hospitality role during his time studying an accounting course.


Soon after, in 1986, he commenced with TP Jones & Co, beginning in the office and progressing through various roles and ultimately becoming a shareholder 10 years later. John became Managing Director in 2008, overseeing the acquisition of TP Jones by the National ASX listed Rural Service provider Ruralco Holdings in 2017.

This saw John become Executive General Manager of Rural Services Tasmania which took on both the Roberts Ltd & TP Jones brands. Roberts Ltd was Tasmania’s largest rural services organisation covering Rural Supplies, Wool & Livestock Agency and Real Estate both Rural & Residential.


In 2019 Ruralco was acquired by Nutrien Ag Solutions where John oversaw the transition to establishing Nutrien Ag Solutions in the state. 


John was a Non-Executive Director of Ruralco Holdings Ltd (ASX: RHL) and has sat on various industry bodies and steering committees.

John is also a past board member and on-going supporter of Rural Alive and Well (RAW), a not for profit organisation focussed on supporting rural communities with emphasis on Suicide Prevention, Mental Health & Wellbeing.


Between his various roles in the Tasmanian Ag community, John and his wife Kellie, raised their daughter in Launceston, and are now kept busy by two energetic grandchildren.


Downtime from his role at XLD is fully occupied with family, his hobby farm running beef cattle and a keen interest in cars ensures there is no time to get bored.


With a career in rural services ranging from independent business to national and even international owners, John believes that the common ingredient for success is people.

“Through my early years in hospitality, front facing sales roles to ultimately managing a team of 300 across 20 locations around the state, it is evident that attracting and retaining great staff is key”.

“Along with quality staff you also need to build a culture for everyone to strive both personally and professionally.”


Coming full circle, John was a founding director of XLD Grain Pty Ltd, re-joining the XLD Commodities team in 2022 as General Manager and the board in 2023. John's values align with the XLD Board of Directors, and he brings adaptable management experience to the team and business as it continues to expand. 

John shares in Paul and Lachie belief in the importance of having a strong team, "by creating a fun and safe environment and sharing our goals and aspirations through the whole team, it creates alignment and a shared vision for success for the XLD team as well as our suppliers and customers”. 


“I learnt a mantra early in my career that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care, and I try to work to this every day”.


bottom of page