Making hay while the sun shines has reaped more than financial benefits for Mataura teenager Hamish Goatley.
At the Gore District Youth Awards on Saturday night, Hamish (18) won not only The Ensign entrepreneurship award for his hay-making business but the Gore District Council senior supreme award.
Hamish said a conventional baler was stored in a shed at his house and at the start of the year he decided to put it to use.
“It’s sitting in the shed doing nothing,” Hamish said.
“So we decided to bite the bullet and get into conventional baling.”
From January to March he and his team of Ryan Currie (15), Ben Hargest (16) and Ryan Tutty (15) baled about 7000 bales.
Although he had all the equipment needed, including tractors, mowers and sledges, it was between 20 and 40 years old.
“You’ve got to make the most of what you have at the time and you just got to start with what you’ve got.
“You can’t start at the top.”
However, having all the gear enabled him to meet the needs of his clients.
“It completely depends what the customer wants.
“If you want the whole shooting box I can do it but if you just want it baled or mowed, that’s the flexibility I have.”
He was very proud of what the team had achieved.
“We were going flat out – my workers worked so hard.
“Seeing how a bunch of school kids can come out of school and be knocking over those sort of numbers of bales is pretty impressive, if I can say so myself.”
hay and some pea straw.
In the 1990s, many farmers moved away from using a conventional baler that produced small rectangular bales in favour of large round bales, he said.
“Farmers don’t want to be taking out a hundred little bales out when you can be taking out 10 round ones.”
There was a niche market for the small bales, especially for people who owned horses or a lifestyle block.
“It’s easy ’cause wife, kids, whoever deals with the horses, can just go and grab the bale.
“They don’t need to get someone to go and get a tractor and shift the bales and then there’s too much hay to deal with.”
It was also easier to get the smaller machinery into lifestyle-block paddocks.
Hamish believed in having a positive outlook on life.
“Keep looking forward – tomorrow’s always better. Life isn’t always fair – you just have to keep on plodding.”
It was good to receive the awards.
“It’s awesome to get recognised.
“I love making a positive difference in the community.”