Murray Agri in Co Mayo continues to offer a top quality service to its clients all throughout the west of the country. Irish Tractor & Agri learned more from the man running the show down in Balla these days, Calum Murray.
Still very much a family operation, Murray Agri has not only concentrates on silage harvesting but its repertoire of services see the company providing slurry work, baling, muck and lime spreading and reseeding to name just a few for its customers.
The family business is now up and running an impressive 67 years and continues to provide a top quality service to a large customer base, having built up a solid reputation for both reliability and efficiency.
Calum Murray has been in charge of running the business for four years now after taking over from his father Fintan and uncle James – both of whom still help out with the company and offer Calum business advice whenever he needs it.
Irish Tractor & Agri got the lowdown from Calum recently about what the company has been up to lately, its machinery fleet and hopes in general for 2019.
“Murray Agri itself is going about five years now as a company but my family has been in this since my grandfather started it back in 1952,” explained Calum.
“Right now my older brother Shane is involved and the younger one Darren helps out during the summer months. My father Fintan still looks after the cattle and I’d be going to him and his brother James for advice on different things.”
Since being set-up by Jimmy Murray in 1952, many of the same customers and their families have been dealing with the Murrays ever since.
Jimmy’s sons Fintan and James ran the business for decades before handing the reins to Calum and continue to farm over 200 acres of land concentrating on tillage and beef.
As aforementioned, the range of services which the company offers is a vast one which has helped it to succeed down through the decades.
“We’ve a wide variety of services that we offer here, whether it be re-seeding, digger work, slurry spreading, lime spreading, soil, combining or silage,” Calum outlined.
“It’s something we’ve always done and will continue to do so long as we’re here.
“I’m the third generation spreading lime for McGrath’s Quarries in Cong (Co Mayo).”
That considered it’s not hard to understand why Murray Agri has such a loyal customer base.
From the days when Jimmy Murray himself was in charge, they’ve always put the customer first and business at the moment certainly reflects that, according to Calum.
“Business is going steady,” he stated. “We’ve a loyal customer base here and a lot of them would be local.
“There are lads out there that are a small bit fearful of Brexit looming because there’s a bit of uncertainty about it at the minute. If everyone can just hold hopefully it’ll be alright.”
So far, 2019 has been going according to script for the Murrays as they remain as busy as ever with work for their clients whether it be in regards to digger work, hedge-cutting or lime spreading.
So what has been the secret to success down through all these years for the family?
The way Calum sees it, the customer’s always right and consistent quality in service is hard to argue with from any perspective.
“As I said, a lot of them would be local and we’ve always offered a very good service for them. We’d pride ourselves on our service here,” he stated plainly.
“The way I see it, you’re only as good as your last job. That’s the way I’d be looking at it – that you have to pride yourself on your work.”
As for the machinery that the Murrays are operating with down in Lagaturn, they’ve never strayed too far away from the trusted John Deere brand when it comes to their tractors.
They also invested in a brand new umbilical slurry piping system last year which has proved a safe bet so far going by the amount of slurry spreading work they’ve been keeping on top of since.
“Altogether we have seven tractors which are mostly made up of John Deere. We’ve one Deutz and also invested in a slurry piping system last year which has been going well for us since,” said Calum.
“We find John Deere to be a very reliable tractor. You can put any driver up on a John Deere and they can drive the machine because they make it easy for you.
“We have just invested in a new JCB 419 from ECI and are looking forward to operating it into the future.”
In this business, Calum has learned that having your wits about you and the right people around you is often more important than the machines you’re operating with.
“You always have to be thinking outside the box in this line of work,” he pointed out.
“I’ve been at it since I was knee height to a grasshopper and have learned a lot down through the years. I suppose you could say I’m still learning every day in this business.”
2019 is simply going to be about more of the same as the family business nears closer and closer to what will be a remarkable seven decades in the agri industry.
Calum concluded: “As I said, the slurry has been going well for us for a while and we’d be doing a lot of work with the umbilical system we have now.
“Finally to finish we would like to thank all our loyal customers and suppliers who have worked with us in the past and hopefully long into the future.
Lagaturn, Balla, Co. Mayo
Calum Mobile: 087 3210994 | Fintan Mobile: 087 9956894
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 2, April/May 2019