Based just outside of Ennis, Co Clare, Garvey Agri Services offers its clients a full range of agri contracting services including slurry spreading, reseeding, silage fertilizer spreading, lime spreading, land reclamation, land drainage, site clearance and general haulage. Irish Tractor & Agri touched base with Tom Garvey recently to find out all about what is a thriving business at the moment.
2020 was one of those busy years for Garvey Agri Services and the plan down in Ballyortla is to try and keep things that way for the year ahead.
Operating with five Massey Ferguson tractors in its fleet, the company continues to provide its customers all throughout Clare (and beyond its borders) with first class contracting solutions.
This past March saw Garvey Agri Services mark its 15th year in existence and, right now, business has never been better.
Irish Tractor & Agri caught up with agri contractor Tom Garvey to learn more about the ins and outs of the business and the recent growth it has seen over the past half decade.
“Right now, we have three working here full-time and that number can get up to 12 during the peak times,” Tom outlined.
“This year (2020) has been extremely busy for us and we’ve been particularly busy with digger work and land reclamation. In fact, the diggers have not stopped at all and then we have silage, fertiliser, reseeding and slurry going on.”
So, in a year like no other, how did government lockdown in the Spring in a bid to battle the spread of Covid-19 have an effect?
“It didn’t really,” said Tom. “If we needed parts things might have been slow alright, but we were working behind closed doors so it didn’t have an effect.”
2020 even saw a new Massey Ferguson added to the machinery fleet down in Ballyortla.
There was also the addition of two diggers purchased off George Whelan, which brings the count up to three as Garvey Agri Services’ diggers continue to be out five to six days a week.
“Land reclamation is our strongest point right now,” Tom put it simply.
With regards to the catchment area, Garvey Agri Services’ work covers all of Clare and also into neighbouring counties Galway and Limerick.
These past 15 years have seen the Banner County-based business enjoy a quick rise, especially when you consider that it was started from the ground up.
Tom points out that the last five years in particular have been significant for the company, growing the business to the point where it is at today.
Something which helped to elevate the company’s expansion is the working relationship they’ve had with Liffey Mills.
Tom met with the company in its Ennis branch back in 2018 and has been carrying out work with them since.
“Two years ago, they approached us about bulk spreading and fertilising,” he said.
“We’ve done a good bit of work for them at this stage and are happy with it, and we look forward to continuing working with them.”
Fast-approaching a 16th year in business, what has been the secret to success thus far for Garvey Agri Services?
For Tom, quality and reliability have been two of the key ingredients to the company’s continued success down through the years.
“I suppose it is down to the quality of work that we carry out for them and the fact that when we say we’ll be there, we’ll be there,” he said.
“We have a good customer base that is very loyal which we appreciate and in turn provide that best service that we can for them.
He added: “One thing about us is that when we say we will be there, then we will be there. And lads will remember that. When you provide a good service, your customers have peace of mind and they appreciate that.”
With a farm also to help run, Tom credits his father Tom snr for affording him the time to run his agri contracting business successfully.
While Tom combines farming and contracting, putting an excellent and wonderfully-maintained fleet of tractors and machinery to optimal use, he says he couldn’t do it without his dad helping to keep the constant pressure off.
“My father is still very much involved on the farming end and that leaves me the free to do this,” he said.
While 2020 had its challenges for everyone, Garvey Agri Services’ owner and founders says he cannot complain about the business that this past year brought his company.
“I suppose we just want things to keep going the way they have been going business-wise,” said Tom.
“Hopefully things don’t change too much in that regard and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our customers for being loyal to us and our workers for putting in the hours with us.”
Garvey Agri Services
Tel: 086 885 0068
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 2, March/April 2021