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Agriculture

Winter work a focus for contractor

Winter work a focus for contractor
Haymaking is one of the core services provided by Taranaki agricultural contracter Goodin Ag. Part of the 25-strong team the company employs through the peak of the season.

Taranaki agricultural contractor Goodin Ag is working to level out the season with more winter work helping the company to maintain its core staff and its income throughout the year.

Goodin Ag is a long-standing company based in Rahotu, started in the mid-1980s by Tom and Lyn Goodin then purchased by their son Mark and his wife Sam in September 2014.

Mark and Sam have kept the company proactive and innovative in order to offer the right solutions to support their client base.

Leading in to this increase in winter work has been the quarry Goodin Ag purchased a few years ago and has been building its business ever since, going down to the quarry after the maize harvest to process race fines. “We’ve been doing driveways, tracks, and races, and we’ve bought a couple of diggers over the years,” Mark says.

“These are proving popular and doing quite a bit of work on all those little jobs around the place that no one wants to do with a shovel.”

Goodin Ag now has a post hole borer on a digger and has established a fencing crew.

“We’ve been doing fencing for years with a post rammer, but now we’ve got three key staff who are really keen on fencing and have been completing boundary fencing, riparian planting fencing, and building cattle yards. Fencing is working in really well because it’s not one of those jobs that needs doing straight away. We can tell our clients we’ll come and do their fencing when we’re not busy, and while we’re busy, we can make hay.”

The three fencing staff are part of a 25-strong team Goodin Ag takes through the peak of the season, and has been dropping back to 10 staff over winter. “We have a great team of staff but we really wanted to be able to maintain them,” Sam says.

“We’ve got about five seasonal Irish people who come down and help us through the hay making and maize planting, as well as about five seasonal locals. We’re now trying to maintain up to 15 staff through the winter and keep our good people. If you lose them, you don’t get them back.”

She says the job satisfaction and security of Goodin Ag’s employees is important to her and Mark, as they see the wider impact it has in the local community. “It’s a strong part of our business, to support the community the way it supports us,” she says.

“We are continuing to sponsor our local Rahotu and Coastal schools and Opunake High School, and also one of the Coastal Rugby teams, just like Tom and Lyn had done since Coastal Rugby was formed more than 20 years ago.”

Goodin Ag is looking forward to a busier winter this year and continuing to provide the same quality agricultural services on time for its loyal and supportive customers. Mark and his sister Jenny are the scheduling team, and clients know the pair answer their questions and have a team out to their farm on the next fine day.

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