Ongmac Trading – People, Product, Partnerships
Ongmac Trading has built a renowned reputation for delivering professional and personalized customer service in the northern rivers region of NSW. With a history spanning over 40 years, Ongmac, along with our devoted team, has consistently offered expert advice on premier agricultural equipment brands. Our unwavering commitment to excellence ensures a rewarding ownership experience. Setting us apart is our unique position as the sole provider of these esteemed quality brands within the agricultural sector. Furthermore, we offer an exceptional level of after-sales support on equipment sold, ensuring prolonged productivity in the field and fostering enduring customer relationships.
The Genesis of Ongmac
In 1982, Alec Marsh established Ongmac in the garage of his NRMA depot in Bangalow, NSW, previously known as Devlin and Marsh. Alec’s car repair business quickly transformed as local farmers and landowners sought chainsaws and water pumps. He began selling and servicing two popular brands at the time: Onga Water Pumps and McCulloch Chainsaws. The name “Ongmac” emerged from a fusion of “Onga” and “McCulloch.” With the region’s growing population, Alec relocated his business to the heart of regional growth, Ballina, NSW. This transition coincided with the subdivision of larger farms into smaller hobby farm blocks and the demand for grass cutting equipment. In 1984, Alec added two Australian-made ride-on mowers, Snapper and COX, to his offerings. As demand continued to surge, Alec moved his business to Lismore in 1985, where Ongmac resides today (at the original premises, 84 Conway St).
In 1989, Alec and his dedicated team, some of whom remain with the company today, began selling and servicing tractors, specifically Shibaura and Yanmar. In 1990, Yanmar became the distribution channel for John Deere compact tractors – a name synonymous with excellence in large broadacre equipment. This expansion allowed Ongmac to enter previously untapped markets, such as Sugar Cane, Tea Tree, Macadamia Nuts, and cattle farms. With the demand for compact tractors and power equipment on the rise, Alec relocated once more to larger premises. In 1991, after three years of negotiations, Ongmac moved to its current location at 86 Conway St, Lismore, occupying the former Caltex Service Station.
Alec Marsh’s expertise led to the addition of the German chainsaw manufacturer STIHL to Ongmac’s equipment range in 1990. Both STIHL and John Deere are notable companies from Ongmac’s early days, fostering strong relationships and providing high-quality machinery. Alec believed that STIHL’s family-owned commitment and unwavering support for dealers were key factors in his sustained success.
As Ongmac’s customer base expanded, other manufacturers sought distribution in Lismore. After Lismore Machinery’s closure in 1991, Kubota and Silvan offered Ongmac their franchises. This brought a lineup of unparalleled quality products under one roof, a distinction that persists today.
In 2017, Ongmac strategically aligned with Kubota to further elevate the brand’s success. Kubota and Ongmac collaboratively contribute to the growth and development of local farming communities, offering reliable machinery and unmatched after-sales service.
Adapting to Changing Times
The subsequent years saw significant changes in the Northern Rivers farming community, underscoring Ongmac’s commitment to professionalism and service. Ongmac’s customer base encompasses a diverse range, from hobby farms and councils to Macadamia Nut, Tea Tree, Sugar Cane, Tropical Fruit, and Cattle farms, each with unique requirements. With a team of 50 dedicated staff, Ongmac remains dedicated to providing the best advice, highest quality, and competitive pricing, all aligned with our philosophy of People, Products, Partnerships.
Envisioning the Future
Over the past 40+ years, Ongmac Trading has acquired 1.5 acres of high-visibility land with three street frontages, along with a large warehouse facility located in Goonellabah. This strategic expansion positions Ongmac as the premier agricultural equipment supplier in Lismore and surrounding areas. Our customer base spans from Coffs Harbor to Tweed Heads, and as far west as Glen Innes and Tenterfield.
Alec Marsh’s sons, Dean and Shane, now equal shareholders in the business, play active roles following Alec’s passing. Dean, who has been part of the business since 1993, manages the Kubota Construction division and corporate customer accounts. Shane, in the business since 1999, serves as the Agricultural division sales manager. With Shane’s son, Braxton, likely to continue the legacy, he represents the third generation of Marsh family involvement in Ongmac.