Operations with Todd Holmes.Rain. Well, that’s winter about summed up! Oh, and frost too. While anybody who has lived in Canterbury long enough knows you never turn down the free irrigation from the sky, August did get a little ridiculous! Dairy farmers with cows calving out in the cold and wet, and cropping farmers unable to get on with cultivation and drilling. Everyone was relieved to finally see the sun and some warmth. On a personal note I have some extra excitement added to this coming season as my wife Madde is pregnant with our second child. Due for delivery on the 10th of January, just in perfect time I’m sure for the first big nor-west harvest day no doubt! Maybe we should have thought that through more!
Local Staff: A Boost For The Future
As usual we have spent the winter recruiting operators for the imminent silage season and harvest. We focused a lot on finding young local people with potential to return for many consecutive seasons. I myself spent my summer holidays while at university (an increasingly long time ago!) driving a baler. It was a great way to fund my studies and I always enjoyed the long hours and varied routine that is unique to our business. Hopefully we can continue to drum up some interest amongst young local school-leavers in the future. These young locals will gain some valuable machinery experience and in turn will lift our average experience level and age. Of course it’s always great to keep the revenue circulating within our community as well.
Every year it’s difficult for us to establish a clear hierarchy within our staff. Sometimes the yard at the beginning of the season is like watching a group of young mountain goats banging their heads together to see who has the hardest head. Through the more consistent staff pool we are building we will hopefully correct this. Or just buy them all helmets! As for the overseas contingent, this year we have a real mix. English, Irish, Scots and unfortunately an Aussie! We have also lifted the average age and experience level of our overseas staff this year. While this required interviewing 3-4 times more applicants than usual, hopefully it will also result in us being able to provide the best service possible.