English hands to the plough

Published date09 November 2022
Publication titleWest Coast Farming Times, The
Hunt Agriculture co-owner Alistair Hunt, of Chatton, north of Gore, said it was hard to find staff

"It is slim pickings." Agricultural contractors would be busy up to Christmas, he said.

"Every nice day it's balls to the wall, all hands on deck and go, go, go, go, go." To prepare for the busy period, he placed an advertisement in July seeking an experienced "iron diseased, diesel addicted" tractor operator.

The advert featured characters and quotes from American neo-Western television series Yellowstone.

Although the advert went "viral" on social media, it attracted few applicants.

"We were sweating. We weren't getting applicants even though it was shared around the world." They filled the position "at the 11th hour" with an Englishman on a working holiday visa, but the tractor operator never saw the Yellowstone advert.

He saw another advert the firm had posted on a website targeting backpackers on holiday visas.

They interviewed the Englishman on a video conference and realised they had a friend in common, which "helped seal the deal".

The Englishman starts working for them on October 8.

Mr Hunt knew of four southern agricultural contractors who were off ering a...

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