Donnie Krug and his son Nathan working together at GrainCorp in Walgett

He'll turn 80-years-old on Sunday, but Donnie Krug is not ready to retire.

The former builder, miner, farmer and harvest worker will celebrate the milestone birthday at GrainCorp's site in Walgett. He'll be helping his son Nathan manage one of the biggest winter crop harvests in more than a decade.

Donnie grew up in Warialda. He joined GrainCorp in 1974 and has worked with the company on and off for 45 years.

Donnie has worked at the Walgett, Moree, Croppa Creek and Boggabilla sites, spending most of his time as team leader between Inverell, Moree and Boggabilla - known as the NSW's golden triangle - when the company operated as the Grain Elevators Board and later the Grain Handling Authority.

He has also had other interesting careers during his lifetime.


He worked in Papua New Guinea in the early 1970s building roads and in 1970 worked at the mines in Mount Isa.

Recently, he rejoined GrainCorp where he works in Walgett alongside his son, who manages the site.

Between driving machinery, rebuilding bulldozers, constructing sheds, sweeping grain up onto the bunkers and helping with other operations and general maintenance works, he also provides some welcome experience and advice to young harvest casuals joining GrainCorp for their first season.

"This is one of the biggest harvests I have seen since the '80s, so I was not going to miss it," Donnie said.

"It's an exciting time for many people in our area and I didn't want just to sit around and watch.

"I love working; it keeps my brain and body going. When you get older, you need to keep things working."

The younger Krug also has a long history with GrainCorp. He's been with the company for more than 20 years.

Nathan said his father's support during this year's harvest had been invaluable to all.

"It's not very often that you get the privilege to work with your dad for this long - it's overwhelming and I'm extremely proud of him being out here," he said.

"Dad provides fantastic mentoring opportunities to the young workers on site. In turn, they look up to him and look out for him."

Nathan said he would try and give his dad the day off on Sunday but admitted he would probably be ignored.

"Nothing can keep him away from working - he just loves it."

After a prolonged drought, community spirit at GrainCorp's Walgett site is at an all-time high thanks to the bumper harvest.

This week, the Walgett site received more than 230,000 tonnes and is on track to reach record numbers by the end of the season.

This story Donnie Krug spending his 80th managing a record harvest alongside his son first appeared on Daily Liberal.