Based on the Carlow-Kildare border, Cassells Agri Ltd have been specialists in tillage farming and agricultural contracting for close to 50 years now. Irish Tractor & Agri learned all about this family business from Ken Cassells recently.
This year has been a tough one to date for Cassells Bros in Ricketstown, Rathvilly, Co Carlow but the family-run concern remains busy nonetheless, according to Ken Cassells.
Operating with five directors, the company employs a further four full-time staff and specialises primarily in in tillage farming and agricultural contracting.
Brothers Jim, Tom and Billy are joined as directors by Jim’s son, Ken and Tom’s son, Thomas, making up two generations of the Cassells clan.
Ken Cassells took some time from a hectic schedule as of late to fill Irish Tractor & Agri in on all the details.
“2020 has definitely been a tough year but, in saying that, we’re still busy here,” he outlined.
“Covid-19 and the lockdown has probably affected us less than others directly, but some of our customers were affected by the lockdown in March.”
March through May were unquestionably tough weeks for everyone in this country as the spread of Covid-19 forced the Irish government into a lockdown which halted all businesses deemed non-essential.
Ken is glad to report that his family’s business wasn’t as severely affected and, after another busy summer, they’re ready to move forward down in Ricketstown.
“Right now, between owned and rented, we have 900 acres and that tends to vary year to year,” he explained.
“We have seven tractors in the fleet, six of them John Deere and one JCB Fastrac, and we bought a 6195r John Deere this year.
“There have been three tractors added here in the last year-and-a-half and I suppose we would tend to go with John Deere because we find them a fairly good and reliable machine.”
He added: “We’re kind of changing tillage machines; there’s stuff being changed all the time here and we’re probably starting to buy fresher stuff more and more now than ever.”
It’s all part of keeping up with the demand from customers of course.
Top class machinery is required to provide a top class agricultural contracting service to farmers.
Cassells Agri Ltd is a company that has been doing this for customers within a 25-mile radius of Rathvilly for almost half a century now.
It is a business renowned for its excellent service and offers customers a wide range of services, including silage and grain harvesting, sowing, ploughing, spraying, tilling, round and big square baling, bulk lime and fertilising spreading, dung spreading, land drainage and excavation.
All of the company’s machinery is maintained and upgraded on a regular basis in order to avoid breakdowns and downtime.
Servicing and maintenance is carried out by themselves in-house in Ricketstown, while bigger jobs see their machines sent to Kelly’s of Borris or Templetuohy Farm Machinery (TFM) in Emo/Enniscorthy.
The machinery is there to carry out work quickly and efficiently for Cassells Agri Ltd’s clients.
It provides the clients with value-for-money and an alternative to investing in their own expensive equipment.
Asked why he thinks customers choose Cassells Agri Ltd first ahead of other local competitors, Ken reckons that a lot of it comes down to two factors in particular.
“I would hope that it’s down to providing them with a good service and reliability,” he said.
“We do everything for our customers now bar maize really, so I suppose there’s a good range of services there to for them too.”
Knowledge, skill and expertise of their staff have all gone a long way for the Cassells down through the years, not to mention the quality of their equipment.
The family company supplies the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.
Looking towards next year, Ken says he’d like to see a resemblance of things starting to turn back to normal.
“Like everyone else, I’d like to see a bit of normality come back into everyday life,” he said.
“The weather has been fairly bad from the Ploughing Match last year, so hopefully we can get a break there as well.”
Rain or sunshine, tillage farmers and agri contractors will always stay busy between the sowing, silage, baling, drainage and excavation work, lime and fertiliser spreading and grain and beet harvesting, etc.
It’s all go, all year round for the Cassells which sees them taking on part-time staff and working long hours in the busy times in order to meet customers’ demand.
The longevity of the company is there for all to see and, according to Ken, there is no great secret behind its success.
“It’s down to hard work, unfortunately,” he laughed.
“There’s no magic trick to it. You have to get up every day and when times are bad, you just have to get on with it because there’s usually better times around the corner.”
For all of your agri contracting needs, be sure to give Cassells Agri Ltd in Rathvilly, Co Carlow a call today.
Cassells Agri Ltd
Telephone: 059 916 1127
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 8 No 4, December 2020