The summer months are a hive activity in the farming community as there is so much to be done in a short time frame.
Winter brings about its own perils and although it may not be as hectic as the previous two seasons, it certainly is not a case of downing tools for a couple of months.
Farmers rely on supplies to keep their farms in order, whether it be animal feeds, vet supplies, farm equipment or other utensils, all are needed in order for the day to day running of their business to run smoothly.
To achieve this goal, farmers turn to hardware or farm supply stores and the people of West Sligo are fortunate to have a reliable and efficient supplier in their area.
Leslie’s Farm Supplies has been trading for 24 years now after Leslie Ward initially started up the business from his parents’ garage.
Through hard work and endeavour, Leslie has worked hard to build up the business to what it is today and he reveals to this month’s edition of Irish Tractor & Agri just what it took to get where he is today.
First, let’s go back to the beginning and take a look at the genesis of the business, which is an unique story in itself.
“I set up in the garage at my parents’ house. I then converted the garage where I started expanding the range of products that I was selling. The customer base continued to grow fairly steady.
“Twenty years ago, I bought a site on the Drum Road, Rathcormack and I built a premise there and that is where we are still located at to this day,” he added.
Leslie has built up a good rapport with his customers over the years and he is dealing directly with the farmers so he has got to know their needs very well.
“A farmer could come in here not sure what he’s looking for and we can help him on that front. We now have an extensive range of products here ranging from feed and fertiliser to farming equipment and vet products.
“We have a dedicated and knowledgeable staff at the counter who can relate to and understand our customers’ needs. Our experience means we can help farmers and give them the best advice possible.”
Over the years the customer base has not only grown numerically, but geographically as well as customers come from bordering counties to do business with Leslie.
“We would cover Sligo, North Leitrim and South Donegal. The customer base has grown considerably over the years and we now have a staff of four full time working here.
“Recently, I took on a Sales Rep to help promote the business even further and he is on the road the full time and we are already seeing the benefits of that.”
Leslie’s Farm Supplies has become a family run business over the years as his wife Shirley as well as sons Colin and Andrew are also involved.
Farmers are already looking ahead to the winter months and that sees a rise in the sale of animal feeds. Leslie Farm Supplies has four trucks on the road delivering to farmers directly during this period.
“We are agents for animal feeds from AW Ennis, Liffey Mills, Thompsons and Corby Rock Mill, which gives us and the farmer a wide range of variety to choose from.
“We do bulk deliveries to all our customers if needed, while we also supply some horse feed from GAIN on a smaller scale. From about October to May, we will be busy supplying the animal feeds.”
Leslie admits that there is a genuine concern for the beef industry at the moment and volatility in the market has a knock on effect for his business.
“The beef industry is in a depressed state at the moment as prices are not great and of course that affects us also as farmers are not willing to spend as much, but we are here to help them in anyway we can. I have always tried to provide an efficient and reliable service to the customers. We do our best to have whatever they want in stock as we know that they need it quickly.”
Other popular products that are stored at Leslie’s Farm Supplies are dairy hygiene products, weed killer and bale wrap to name just a few.
Leslie is pleased with the direction that the company is heading and he feels that if he can maintain and if possible improve on the service that he provides then the customers will remain happy.
“I have a very loyal customer base and I would know all the farmers very well. I’m grateful for the business that they have given us over the years and look forward to supplying them with the service that they have become accustomed too for many years to come.”
Leslie’s Farm Supplies,
TEL: 071 9145328
MOB: 087 2510421