Oliver Conroy from Rochfortbridge, Co.Westmeath operates a large Agricultural Contracting business that provides a vast array of services to farms across the Leinster region and beyond.
The business was originally started by his father - Gerry Conroy - fifty years ago, in 1969. As an only child, Oliver was brought up through his fathers’ business and was first sitting in a tractor cab before he reached double digits.
By the time Oliver was a teenager, he was driving for the business and has never looked back. “I really enjoy the machinery; I remember wanting to drive the tractor when I was seven-years-old,” Oliver told Marcella Connolly - That's Farming.
Oliver took a short time away to attend agricultural college, where he studied Agricultural Engineering in Pallaskenry and graduated from there in 1997. The staff numbers have grown to thirty-eight over the years, and the business is growing even stronger.
The services offered by Oliver Conroy Plant and Agri Hire are lengthy and varying, but some of those services include; ring rolling, ploughing, grain carting, seed bed preparation, discing, sowing, cultivating, harrowing, and combining.
The team also offer slurry agitating and slurry and manure spreading services. As well as that, the list of grassland services include reseeding, subsoiling, raking, tedding, whole cropping with corn cracker and additive applicator, round baling, mowing by GPS and silage cutting.
Those are just some of the services provided by the Conroys as the family business branched into waste management and renewable energy, where they have been granted a permit from the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO) to collect, store and spread Biofert product throughout Ireland.
Biofert is referred to as a class A sludge, which is produced by a thermal drying process of Biosolids. Biosolids are the by-product of urban wastewater that has been treated and can now be used as agriculture fertiliser.
The third arm in the impressive list of skills and services by the contracting company is the very specialised area of soil stabilisation. This method is generally used on construction sites and the contractors use lime and cement as binders to stabilise existing soil, rather than importing external materials.
The soil stabilisation services have been in place since Gerry first started working as a contractor and has racked up an impressive list of clients including a number of County Councils in Dublin and Wicklow.
Some of the major projects have included the Greystones Harbour works and the Portlaoise Bypass.
Oliver is as enthusiastic about smaller projects as he is about the bigger clients. “Everything we do is done professionally and with care,” he said, no matter what type of job”.
All the staff are constantly being trained and upskilled to maintain efficiency and professionalism. The trailers used for this extensive range of work includes twenty-tonne dump trailers, three-axel low-loaders and two and three-axel flat trailers.
Adding to the impressive list of farming machinery is a five-legged Sumo Grassland Subsoiler, Simba cultivators, John Deere Combines, KUHN Krause seed drills, twin rear-mounted mower conditioner, and a 600hp self-propelled forage harvester.
The list of machinery could be added to, even doubled; however, it could well be taken for granted that there couldn’t be a job that Conroy Plant and Agri Hire couldn’t complete.
As busy as Oliver is when running the business that his father started before he was born, he was available to have a quick chat before heading out for the evening shift. “Unfortunately, Dad is unwell at the moment, so I am busy running the company now, but I love it,” he said.
Oliver looks forward to operating the thriving company into the future and maintaining the great reputation that Gerry built up over the past five decades.
Image Source: Westmeath Agri Photography
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