Business Rural Spring 2021

86 | Fresh focus on silage contracting Willie, Tate, Bill, and employee Paul McKee (top), Willie, Tate, 18 months, Livvy, Harper, 6, and Eva McAtamney, 3 (below left). Kelly Deeks F arming on the outskirts of Omakau, Central Otago for 131 years, the Clouston family knows what is required from an agricultural contractor in this land of harsh extremes. Five generations ago, Thomas and Jean Clouston and their three children Mary-Jane, James, and Edward, emigrated from the Orkney Islands in Scotland on the first steamship to leave Britain for New Zealand. Thomas and Jean bought Bellview, 500 acres of flat land on the outskirts of Omakau, for two pounds an acre, stocked it with ewes and lambs, and eventually grew it to 1090 acres with the purchase of four neighbouring blocks. In 1900, James and his wife Janet bought 623 acres at Becks, Riverdale Farm, and lived in a cobb cottage until the new homestead was built in 1913. Now living in the homestead are James’ great grandson Willie, his wife Olivia, and their three children Harper, 6, Eva, 3, and Tate, 18 months. Willie and his father Bill work together grazing dairy cows through the winter and running a few of their own beef cattle. Bill started agricultural contracting about 35 years ago, and silage contracting 25 years ago, and today runs Clouston Contracting in partnership with Willie. “With 13 years of his own experience, Willie brings a fresh focus to the silage contracting side of the business,” Bill says. “His exacting standards and attention to detail see him strive for high calibre results for our clients.” Clouston Contracting hadn’t run a silage chopper for several years until it purchased one three years ago to suit the requirements of its customers. “The cut length of choppers is a lot different from a loader wagon, and people had been saying they like the fine chop a lot better,” Willie says. “We still do the odd job with the the Pottinger loader wagons for a couple of clients who prefer that longer chop.” So busy is Clouston Contracting’s silage contract- ing, that the chopper is being upgraded this season to a Claas Jaguar 960. A higher specified model than that previously run by Clouston Contracting, the Jaguar 960 will be a key piece of machinery, providing more options for the firm to continue to cater to the diverse needs of all of its clients. Bill and Willie are looking forward to the upcom- ing season and all the highlights and challenges it brings. “Every year is different,” Willie says. “This year it has been staffing that has brought challenges to our entire industry all around New Zealand.” RURAL SERVICES » Clouston Contracting Clouston Contracting normally hires a couple of staff from overseas for the peak of the season, so this year has managed by relying on the experience of the local workforce, and on keen people new to the industry who they can train up. “With 13 years of his own experience, Willie brings a fresh focus to the silage contracting side of the business.” Phone: 447 3708 Opening Hours: MON - FRI: 8AM - 5PM sAT - 8.30AM - 12PM sUN - cLOSED Omakau Auto Centre FARMLANDS RANFURLY IS PROUD TO SUPPORT CLOUSTON CONTRACTING For expert advice in-store and in the eld, visit your local Farmlands team today. FAR_08376 Farmlands Ranfurly 28 Charlemont Street, Ranfurly (03) 444 1060