Farmers Weekly Awards Winner: Contractor of the Year

Quality service, customer-focused and loyal to staff are just three ways to describe this outstanding family-run contracting business from Castle Cary in Somerset.

Over 30 years, Robert Targett, together with his brother Colin, wife Jane and son Matthew, have successfully developed their contracting business and have built up a loyal, 50-strong customer base, within an extremely competitive area. What’s more, they’ve done so while balancing it with the demands of running their own 400ha (988 acre) farm, with more than 500 pedigree Holstein cattle, which last year produced the 10th-highest milk yield in the country.

There is a strong desire to provide customers with a premium service at competitive rates and it is clear that employing and retaining the right staff is key to this. Indeed, their traditional attitude to looking after staff is refreshing to see.

The Targett’s are prepared to invest in decent equipment as well. New machinery is bought on a regular basis, but not before every purchase has been carefully costed-out to check it is right for the business.

It’s this attention to detail that’s allowed them to build up a varied, high-capacity machinery fleet that includes one of the first New Holland FR9060 forage harvesters in the UK.

While the Targett’s have deliberately kept their business focused on silage making for a core customer base, they’ve not been afraid to explore alternative income streams. Eight years ago they set up Cary Moor vet group, which is now responsible for £250,000-worth of vet business and in 2004, they took over a nearby town and country store. There is no shortage of new ideas as well, particularly with son Matthew’s youthful drive and ambition.

Their passion for British agriculture and drive to make sure the business succeeds now and in future generation’s means the Targett’s really stand out from the crowd and represent what these Awards are really about.

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