Contractor of the Week - Nathan Hunt


This week on ‘Contractors of the Week’, Kevin speaks to Roscommon man, Nathan Hunt, who with his brother Gary, helps his father run Des Hunt Ballydaly LTD which has been in operation over 44 years. Read about their journey below!

Contractor of the Week - Nathan Hunt

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This week on ‘Contractors of the Week’, Kevin speaks to Roscommon man, Nathan Hunt, who with his brother Gary, helps his father run Des Hunt Ballydaly LTD which has been in operation over 44 years. Read about their journey below!

Nathan Hunt is only 27-years-old, but one would be pressed to find someone within the industry with more experience.

A third-generation contractor, with his father Des and his father before him, having always partaken in the trade. It was always an inevitability that Nathan would someday follow suit and that he did.

The Hunts hail from a 55-acre holding near Ballydaly, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon. It is here the family run a complete dry stock operation, generally keeping approximately 50-heifers, continental crossbreeds. They finish all stock on the farm themselves, bringing them to around 30-months before sending them directly to the factory.

“We finish all the cattle we buy on the farm…We Usually keep around 50 heifers on 55-acres and we usually have them finished at under 30-months,”, Nathan informed Kevin.

Therefore, the Hunts are heavily involved in not only contracting but hands-on farming as well. In fact, his father first set up the family business over four decades ago, meaning they have quite the history.

“My father, Des, set up the company 44 years ago…He started with a Super Dexta tractor,”, Nathan noted.

“My grandfather also did a bit of contracting and that is where dad got the interest out of and it went on from there,”, he added.

This explains where Nathan gained his love for the industry too and his obsession with machinery, as he would readily admit.

Nathans return home:
Although it was always on the agenda to return home at some stage, Nathan first set off, following his secondary education, for a stint in college.

It was in Tralee I.T that the Tulsk native and 27-year-old decided to pursue a degree in Agricultural engineering, something he felt would help him upon his eventual return home.

Though upon competition of his college course, Nathan first opted for work as an engineer for Lely Welger. With silage fresh in the mind, he then made the decision to finally return home and help his father run the family firm, something he always dreamed of doing.

“I Spent five years in Tralee IT…I finished up with Lely last May and I said I would stay home and focus on the contracting,”, Nathan said.

Nathan says it was always the intention to make his return home to his native Roscommon and take on some of the duties at home and says this was the main reason for his choice of college education.

“It was always the intention (to return home). Agricultural engineering was the only course that I thought suitable to do and bring something home”, he explained.

Team & Services -
Like every other contractor, the Hunt’s offer the full silage service. Making pit and baled silage, while also offering direct reseeding, spraying and slurry spreading services.

The team is made up of Nathan and his brother Gary on a day-to-day basis, with his father Des now resisting the temptation to get behind the wheel, having more than served his time.

“Dad doesn’t be out driving at all anymore…My brother Gary and I work together,”, Nathan explained.

True to his word and making use of his college degree, Nathan is now responsible for the maintenance and servicing of all the machinery run by the contracting firm. Not only this but as well as contracting services, the father and son team also offer tractor repairs and machinery servicing for farmers, something which keeps them very busy.

“We do all our own repairs and we have a garage and fix tractors and machinery for others as well…We get tractors from all over,”, Nathan said.

“We do pit silage…direct seeding…We do precision chop silage and we have a Malone silage wagon as well…We also do a bit of spraying too,”, he added.

Machinery -
The Hunts currently run with a fleet of seven tractors in total, mainly John Deere, with Nathan joking they are slowly making the switch over to a full green fleet.

“We are slowly making the switch over,”, Nathan joked.

Tractors - John Deere 7530, John Deere 6920S, John Deere 6920S, Same Silver 130, Same Silver 106, Same Antares 130, Lamborghini Formula 135.

Silage- Three John Deere 630 mowers. Malone Silage wagon. Three Redrock silage trailers. Baler - Two Lely Welgers Rp245 XtraCut 17, One John Deere 578. Two McHale wrappers. Harvester - Two Kverneland Taarup 10X precision chop harvesters. Reseeder - Gúttler Greenmaster. JCB 414S.

Slurry - Two 2400gn Major Slurry tankers, one with dribble bar.

Spraying - 1,000 litre Bury sprayer.

Agenda for 2018 -
Content with how things are going during what will be a busy summer for the lads, they hope to keep things as they are, with no major change-ups planned.

Machinery-wise, the father and son duo are in the process of deciding on whether to invest in the umbilical slurry spreading system, with Nathan noting the recent bad weather mean this might happen sooner, rather than later. Other than that, the family will keep going as they are, doing what they do best.

“We will keep going as we are for the time being anyway,”, Nathan said.

As always, the Hunts will continue to provide the humble and top-quality service to their loyal customer base, something which has contributed to Des Hunt BallyDaly LTD thriving for over 40 years.

“We have had a loyal customer base over the years and its thanks to their continued support that we have lasted for over forty years,”, Nathan noted.

What keeps him behind the wheel -

Like it was for his father and grandfather before him, Nathan is simply in love with his job.

Greeting every day with a smile on his face and bountiful supplies of positivity, there are not too many aspects of the career he does not enjoy.

“There is great job satisfaction out of a job well done. If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life,”, he advised.

An addiction to machinery and on a quest to follow in the path trekked by his father before him, Nathan Hunt, with the help of his brother Gary, will ensure that Des Hunt Ballydaly LTD will continue for another four decades and no doubt they will.

Would you like to get in contact with Des Hunt Ballydaly Ltd? You can do so via their Facebook page here.

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