Spray activity keeps it in the family
As if managing 4,500 units of stock on four lease blocks stretching from Waikouaiti to East Otago to Lee Stream wasn’t enough, Wayne and Chelle Hagan are now also the proud owners of an agricultural spraying business.
“We were looking for other business opportunities to create a bit of income diversity as well as something for our kids,” Chelle said.
The business listing was discovered on an online auction site five minutes after it went on sale, and the seller was none other than Wayne’s cousin, Murray Hagan.
Murray’s wife Rua said the two knew the other was keen on a business transfer, “they see each other every week, but do you think they’ve talked about it yet?” A she laughed.
The company was quickly taken off the online list, “and Murray’s smile said it all.”
Murray’s father Jim Hagan (91) started the outsourcing business and he still remembers when he started.
“It was April 4, 1952. I had worked on farms for two or three years before, but I wanted to be my own boss. I started with a Massey Ferguson tractor and a plow and it all started from there, really, ”he said.
From the crop work came cutting the hay and grass and after a few years Jim said they had more tractors and the spray work was increasing every year.
“I got to the point where I either upgraded my tractor and equipment equipment or just focused on the spray job and decided to do the latter. The return on investment of tractor labor was not worth it. “
At the peak of the season, Jim had “five or six” men working for him. Murray had worked for Jim for a number of years, then he and Rua bought the company in 1989, and a year later Jim retired.
“I let him do it, which was a good idea because we always get along really well,” he said.
Jim was delighted to see the business stay in the family. “Wayne and Chelle are very hard-working people. They will make it work.
In addition to doing rural mail twice a week and working occasionally for PGGWrightson, Chelle will be handling the commercial book and running the spider side of the business. The couple’s three teenage children, Emilee, Mya and Josh, are eager to get involved.
Wayne admits he’s a bit of a cop for those who know him well in the neighborhood.
“I have a lot of people who say I’m pretty busy now, how am I going to afford to run an outsourcing business as well? ”
– Alice Scott