Fields to fashion

Fields to fashion

South Australia’s regional towns have a long history of farming, with traditions passed down from one generation to the next — but the path for Dustin and Jodi Sparrow in Wudinna on the Eyre Peninsula has been a little different. Their drive to live life to the fullest has their empire now spanning farming, retail and a Nutrien Ag store. Jodi walks us through how this unique combination came together.

Small town roots

Farming wasn’t always on the cards for Dustin, who was born and bred in Wudinna and always admired the legacy of his grandparents, who were dedicated grain growers and livestock producers. Jodi and Dustin met at school when she moved to Wudinna in the 1990s with her mum and stepdad. They married in 2000, but the door to farming life really opened when Dustin’s mum generously gave them 1000 acres of land. Initially, they engaged in contract spraying, harvesting, grain carting and farm handling to build their expertise in the farming industry.

In 2008, they embarked on a new chapter, starting an agricultural chemical business from their farm, selling products affiliated with a Western Australian company for 10 years. The Sparrows invested in additional land and have taken their farming operation to 9,000 acres of wheat, barley, canola, lentils and peas.

“Dustin’s primary focus is the farm (and he comes into Nutrien Ag when needed). We’ve now also got full- time workers on the farm and my stepdad helps out during seeding and harvest, plus our son, Chad, is showing growing interest in it, too. In fact, the ag bug has also got our daughter, Shannon, who is boarding at Immanuel College in Adelaide and has her sights set on agronomy,” Jodi says.

Amidst their early farm life, Jodi assumed the role of finance officer at the local area school and also devoted seven years to early childhood development on the Eyre Peninsula in between raising two kids — so, safe to say, it’s been busy!

Beyond the farm

In 2017, Jodi and Dustin seized another opportunity when they were approached to take over the Nutrien Ag store in Wudinna — supplying animal health products for livestock, broadacre ag needs, and agricultural product deliveries. The business has grown, and they now employ six people, including an agronomist and a trainee agronomist.

Jodi loves that this store brings the opportunity to work closely with the region’s farmers. “We focus on providing an all-round ag service, including paddock planning, crop rotation, agricultural advice and digital agriculture solutions to help local farmers manage their farms efficiently. Our accomplishment is a true credit to the team that supports us through all of our business — they’re like family to us,” Jodi says.

For Jodi and Dustin, the path to success has been made sweeter by living in such a close-knit community. “One thing we just love about life in Wudinna is the people — the welcoming atmosphere, friendliness and being happy-go-lucky is the norm. People who visit, or come for a short-term job, often fall in love with this town and make it their home. It draws you in!” Jodi says.

“We also love that this area is so strongly connected to the ag industry. It’s a field that’s forever changing, with new technology and farming practices. And the resilience of the farmers is amazing. They’re constantly learning, striving, improving and moving with change.”

Jodi Sparrow. Photo: Bec Smart Photography

A lil’ more

As if Jodi and Dustin didn’t already have their hands full enough, they opened Lil’ Birdie Boutique, a gifts, fashion and homeware store in 2011, and it’s still going strong today.

“At the time, our kids were young and I realised there wasn’t anywhere local to buy good birthday presents, thank you gifts or just that lil’ something.

Like everyone else, we’d go into Pt Lincoln or Adelaide for appointments and have to cram in shopping for gifts and things for ourselves — and let’s face it, no husband wants to sit in the car while you’re looking for a mirror or print — so our shop has become a convenient place to find the perfect present or jazz up your own home or buy women’s clothing,” Jodi laughs.

“These days, my mum helps me run the store and we’re online, too, but my love for it hasn’t changed a bit. There’s nothing like the feeling of making people happy and surprising tourists who stumble upon our store, finding something unexpected and delightful.”

 Find out more about the Sparrows endeavors at and



Find any New or Used Machinery