Scott’s Ag Contracting Limited

Business; the heart of the family

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    Annelise, Rhys and Jason Scott of Scott's Ag Contracting Limited.

Scott’s Ag Contracting Limited is the quintessential family business; it’s been in the family for two generations. It’s a business where customers come first and everyone plays their part.

Established by Bernard and Fiona Scott some 30 to 35 years ago, Scott’s Ag Contracting Limited specialises in meeting the agricultural needs of farmers around Carterton and the wider Wairarapa district. Some of the services include grass, maize and cereal silage, hay, baleage, cultivation, maize, fodder beet, drilling, planting, cartage, calf shed cleaning as well as other farming jobs.

Bernard and Fiona’s sons, Rhys and Jason, have been part of the essential mix of the business for more than 10 years, and formally took over the reins last year, although they had been running the operational side of things for about four or five years. Jason, 29-years-old, has been driving tractors since he was 14, while Rhys has been driving tractors since he was 17. He’s now 31. “It has been a natural progression,” says Rhys.

Since formally taking over the ‘administrative side’ last year, Jason and Rhys have had to pry themselves away from the tractor to sometimes get behind the desk. Although some aspects have been challenging, such as learning how to operate systems like Xero and iPayroll, Rhys’ wife Annelise Scott, has played an important part in helping the brothers to embrace their new roles.

“It’s been great. We’ve been really sticking to our succession plan, which has helped the business to develop and grow quite smoothly. Business has been going really well and we’ve remained 100 percent committed to our customers – the farmers of Wairarapa,” says Rhys.

A real highlight about running a family business for him is being able to work alongside family, especially Jason, who he considers not only a brother but also a really good friend. “The fact that it is still 100-percent family owned, with no outside investors, is also great. Some of the larger clients have also been with us since the beginning of the business.”

He says one of the keys to running a successful business is having “great staff and sub-contractors, who know their trade and have a clear understanding of their role. It’s a full-time operation. We have a base staff of 11, and in spring and summer we can have an upwards of 20 staff working for us.”

The brothers have clearly defined roles in the business. Jason looks after the bailing, cultivation and planting side of things, while Rhys looks after the fertiliser, transport, silage, harvesting and the production side.

“To run a successful agricultural contracting business you need to be prepared for plans to change at the drop of a hat,” says Rhys. “It’s a very unique type of business where you can rarely make a plan as something simple like the change of the weather can easily alter things.”
Although they can’t control the weather, Moore Stephens Markhams Wairarapa has been providing accounting, financial and business advice to the Scott family for more than 30 years.

“They have a clear understanding of our business. They have really helped Jason and myself develop and maintain a successful business. Sharon Parker has such an in-depth knowledge about farming and her advice is always good and constructive,” says Rhys.

Published Winter 2015.

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