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Agriculture

A matter of the personal touch

Tom O'Leary Nov 11
A matter of the personal touch
Nathan Wilson used to sell John Deere farm machinery. But four years ago he jumped at the opportunity to operate it rather than sell it, and joined Allan Hall in Otorohanga-based Hall and Wilson, a contracting business with a speciality in silage.

Alan Hall and Nathan Wilson reckon farmers warm to personal service. And judging by the way their specialist silage business has grown in its four years of life, they’re right.

Otorohanga-based Hall & Wilson Ltd took off dramatically in its first year.

Now in its fourth season, it continues to flourish, King Country farmers were looking for service, says Nathan Wilson. “We are dedicated to giving farmers what they want, when they want it.

I’m on the job every day and I believe that’s what the customers want.

“Farmers want to speak to either me or Alan, and when we say we’ll be there on Tuesday, we will be there on Tuesday. They want good service, and that’s what we offer.”

While Alan Hall has been contracting for most of his life, Nathan Wilson was a sales rep for John Deere dealer AGrowQuip NZ after working for agricultural contractors for many years in the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand.

“Alan also runs a dairy farm and he got to the point where it was either give up contracting or get someone else involved to start pushing it along,” Nathan says.

“For me, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. I jumped at the chance to move away from selling machinery and start operating it instead.”

“That’s where about half of our initial maize work came from. We soon increased from Alan doing about 200 hectares of maize when he was working by himself, to about 650ha.”

Nathan has stuck to his roots, and has Hall and Wilson running John Deere equipment. A new John Deere 8000 series self-propelled forage harvester is due for delivery in January.

“John Deere has spent more on research and development for this new forage harvester than ever before,” Nathan says.

“It offers world-leading performance in power efficiency, forage quality, comfort, reliability, traction, and cost efficiency.

“There has been some learning for us to do, I’ve done a lot of homework and we’ve used one on demonstration.

The machine has completely changed from the ground up, and serviceability is going to be fantastic.”

Along with reliable machinery, good staff are crucial to servicing clients, and Nathan says they have been really lucky with the people it employs.

“All the people who work for us treat it like their own business. They go the extra mile for us and for our customers.”

He believes this staff work ethic of his staff reflects the example he and Alan set.

“I want it to be a fun place to work as well, because when we’re working, we’re working really hard.

In the summer when we get a bit of spare time, we’ll take the guys fishing. We’ve got to have a bit of a break because we do work really hard.”

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