NZ Dairy Spring 2021

| 79 nz dairy Late nights and early starts all part of it Kelly Deeks T wo lifetimes of hard work have put Reporoa’s Elsworth Ag Contractors in a comfortable po- sition to tackle the harvesting and cultivation requirements of local dairy and sheep and beef farmers. Started by Ian Elsworth in 2004, Elsworth Ag Contractors was initially an extension of the baling work Ian had done all his life. He went on to work for 40 years for his brother-in-law Mark Miers of one of Reporoa’s largest contracting firms Miers Contractors before starting out on his own. “He was milking cows in the morning then driving all day, and mum would milk the cows in the afternoon,” says Ian’s son Lance. “Sometimes he would only get a couple of hours sleep before getting up and away. That’s what he did to get us to what we’re doing now.” Lance joined Ian in Elsworth Ag Contractors in 2006 at age 15, and has driven full time for the company ever since. He and his wife Daina eventually bought the business from Lance’s dad in 2016. He has inherited the industrious gene and puts in late nights and early starts to make sure he can fulfil the requirements of an ever-growing client base. Lance has grown Elsworth Ag Contractors from eight staff in 2016 to now 12. Working on large Pamu farms and Maori Trust farms as well as for smaller individual farmers, Elsworth Ag Contractors has grown alongside its clients. Mainly flat dairy country, the client base includes about 25% to 30% sheep and beef. “About three quarters of the ground is pretty flat, but we do get some doozies of paddocks that are tricky to get a tractor in!” Elsworth Ag Contractors purchased its first silage chopper four years ago and now runs two, with a second one bought last year to keep up with demand. “It’s an easier way of doing silage, it just requires a lot of investment,” he says. “We used to fully road cart all our silage, drop it in the paddock and use a digger to load it on to the truck. Now we can load straight on to the truck.” Elsworth Ag Contractors still runs three loader wagons for those clients who prefer the longer, coarser chop. Elsworth Ag Contractors baling hay while the sun shines. DAIRY PEOPLE » Elsworth Agricultural Contractors While contractors around New Zealand struggle to get the staff they need, Elsworth Ag Contractors is looking pretty good on that front too. Lance has a couple of drivers from the UK who just haven’t gone home, and with plenty of race work to complete over the winter, he was able to keep five staff on over winter. One staff member was keen for a taste of dairy farming, so Lance let him go and try it out before coming back to Elsworth Ag Contractors in the spring. “There’s nothing worse than someone who is getting bored with what they’re doing, their attitudes and their standards aren’t where we need them to be. By letting him go he will get the “We used to fully road cart all our silage, drop it in the paddock and use a digger to load it on to the truck. Now we can load straight on to the truck” ELSWORTH AGRICULTURAL CONTRACTORS Services include : ¥ Supply and Cartage of Chicken Manure. ¥ Bulk Cartage needs: Silage, Metal, Flat Deck, Bulk Fert, Machinery cartage with 6 tonne ramps available and more… ¥ Also Available: Digger and Telehandler services Servicing the Waikato and Bay of Plenty !"#$"%&'()*(+"&*,-,."/ Jason Jepsen 0272831001 CERVUS EQUIPMENT, YOUR TRUSTED AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER. CERVUSEQUIPMENT CO NZ Cervus has partnered with some of the best brands in the business including John Deere, Duncan Ag, Giltrap, Kramer and Lemken. So no matter what your equipment needs are, you can count on us! WE ARE YOUR TRUSTED PARTNER IN AGRICULTURE. experience he wants and come back to us nice and fresh and ready to go.” Lance is lucky to have a few casual workers he can call on to fill in on odd days when required. Three university students with farming back- grounds are set to work at Elsworth Ag Contrac- tors over the summer holidays, so while he will miss that experience that comes with the overseas drivers, Lance is happy to be able to offer a full complement of staff to service his clients. “We’re pretty happy where we are,” he says. On 30ha at home, Daina rears 100 calves and winters 200 dairy grazers every year.