The McNab family have developed the business and land for more than 100 years.
Victor Richard McNab (1879 – 1962)
Victor retired from teaching and lecturing in Geology and Assaying at the Working Man’s College in Melbourne (now R.M.I.T.) and purchased 80 acres in Ardmona from the Pagan family in 1910. He had planted fruit trees on most of the land by 1912. Some of the original blocks of William pear trees are still producing record-quality crops of canning pears today. Victor McNab was the first company secretary / director of the new Ardmona cannery in Mooroopna in 1921.
Herbert Victor McNab (1906 – 1972)
Herbert greatly improved the Ardmona orchard, concentrating on producing quality pears, peaches and apricots for the Ardmona cannery. He also produced Packham pears, Josephine pears and Granny Smith apples for the domestic and export markets. Herbert enjoyed life and the many working friendships that were developed. He purchased 160 acres of neighboring land to increase the size of the orchard.
Colin Herbert McNab (1935 – 2000)
Colin helped his father develop the additional land, and planted apples and peaches, gradually growing more fruit for the fresh markets and for export. Colin also diversified into farming, as well as founding the Avalon Murray Grey Stud in 1968 under the business name “C H McNab & Sons Pty Ltd”. This new enterprise grew lucerne, wheat, oats and other crops. In 1973 Colin purchased 180 acres at Undera on the edge of the Goulburn River to hold the increasing cattle numbers and to allow the cropping of wheat and oats in Spring/Summer. In 1980 a property one block away (1 mile) from the orchard was bought and the land at Undera was sold. The new block on the west boundary of Ardmona’s Starritt Road is 322 acres. With son Andrew helping, they quickly improved the new land. The business diversified further, building a warehouse storage facility on the orchard in 1987.
Mitchell McNab ( 1990- Present )
Andrew Richard McNab ( 1962- Present )
Andrew McNab is the owner and his son Mitchell McNab manages the orchard and farm. Fruit growing was rapidly changing in the tree-design and management areas and the first McNab trees planted on Tatura trellis were canning peaches in 1984. A five-room cool store complex, totally computer-controlled, was built in 1992. In 1996 a further 4 rooms were added, bringing the total controlled-atmosphere storage capacity to 4400 bins.
All four of the fruit-growing McNab generations have served on the board of directors of the Ardmona cannery in Mooroopna, which was Ardmona Foods Limited. In 2002 the Ardmona cannery merged with SPC in Shepparton to become SPC-Ardmona Limited.