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The Carrfields story is about hard work, vision, innovation and good old fashioned family values. When Greg Carr left school in 1970, there was no room for him on the family farm, so he started his working life as an apprentice mechanic. He carted hay during the evenings and weekends to help fund his way through his apprenticeship.
In those days, Greg says to get your own farm you had to work on one in order to get money through rural lenders.
Farming was in his blood, so in 1978 he went and worked on a farm – while working there he acquired a tractor and round baler, and went about converting farmers from small squares to round bales.
Looking back, the Carr family see the baling contracting business as the first demonstration of innovation in the Carr Group’s business. In 1980, Greg secured a loan to buy his first piece of land – 200 acres in mid Canterbury. Three years on, he bought another 400 acres.
Times were tough in the mid 80’s and in order to survive with a young family of four – Craig, Ryan, James and Stacey – Glenys started doing homestays and running the farm while Greg ran the contracting business. In 1986, when times were “really tough”, Greg brought a large square baler, allowing farmers to make 25 small bales into one big square.
The family says it was another big innovation for hay making and again, Greg was at the forefront of it. He recognised that his way to progress was to continue building alternative income streams.
For over four decades, Greg and his family have consistently shown forward-thinking is the cornerstone to their success. They have identified many opportunities to revitalise and revolutionise their rural business. The common theme shared throughout the Carr family enterprise has been the emphasis on outstanding service – a key component contributing to the integrity of the family business.
In August 2014, the Carr Group put forward a proposal to purchase Elders New Zealand and acquired the business, returning it to 100 per cent Kiwi ownership. With a desire to build a national footprint with a global business, this acquisition was the opportunity the family needed.
Today under the Carrfields brand, the company is a national agri-tech business. It brings together livestock, wool, farm machinery, seed, irrigation, contracting, insurance, land holdings, production and processing as well as consumer brands within one family operated organisation.
Looking forward, Carrfields is now well positioned to deliver the highest quality agricultural products and services from the farmer’s gate to consumers around the world.