From School to my own Farm
My school education finished when I was 16, and to be honest I couldn’t wait to leave! Although I always enjoyed the social side of school, I did not find it interesting or challenging. I spent as much of my spare time as I could helping on a local farm. I had done this from the age of 13, and this was what I enjoyed the most.
While at school on my work experience I was lucky enough to be placed at Rustons Engineering Company in Huntingdon, I really enjoyed this experience. Rustons said they’d like to offer me a job if I was interested in working for them. I started work soon after leaving school and started to attend Cambridge agricultural college part time studying agricultural engineering. This was a 3 year course and after achieving what I had set out to do at Rustons I then decided to start working back on farms, which I had greatly missed.
Working back on farms eventually lead me into starting my first business, DRA Fabb agricultural contractors. This offered self employed farm labour and tractor hire. DRA Fabb now runs 6 large Hesston balers, supplying power stations, chopping plants, compost yards and farms. We cover the counties of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire baling on average around 14,000 acres per year, consisting of mainly wheat straw. This has also led to the forming of DRA Fabb Contractors Ltd and Cambridgeshire Straw Supplies Ltd.
After 3 – 4 years I realised the next natural progression for my company was Haulage and a partnership with Chris Rodgers formed RF Straw Services Ltd. This enabled us to offer the complete service from baling, stacking, loading and haulage to a final destination. RF Straw Services Ltd was formed to provide a haulage solution. This was built up from one to four lorries as the business expanded. Being able to offer a service from start to finish with only one point of contact is an important part of our business.
The final part of our straw businesses is the forming of Cambs Straw Pellets Ltd. This company is in the very early stages. This will offer straw processing, further improving the groups ability to offer an entire service from start to finish.
Pedigree Hereford cattle have become an increasing and important part of our business over the past three years. This started with ten heifers and has built up to a suckler herd expecting sixty calves this spring. We attended our first two shows this year achieving 4th place at both the Newark, Nottingham and Norfolk show. A very pleasing result and one we are working on improving. This is a part of the business we want to keep expanding as it offers a good outlet for our second quality straw for which markets are currently limited.
Finally this leads me on to a completely different business in the group, Evolution Dome Ltd. Our exciting events company offer inflatable structures for both indoor and outdoor events. This provides a modern and exciting alternative to a marquee. Our Domes ensure your event, product launch or party stands out from the crowd. Again we have taken it a stage further offering generators, sound and light and power solutions. Offering a high quality product with one point of contact for your whole event. This has become a rapidly growing business which we continue to push offering an extensive hire range as well as bespoke design. We now offer full event production.