Building trust with farmers is an important part of the role for Stratford TSR Chris Lloyd.
Today, there are more sources than ever for farmers to get advice, ideas and inspiration – there are so many ways to do things bigger and better.
Stratford TSR Chris Lloyd says it’s up to farmers to do their homework and make informed decisions with guidance from people they trust.
That’s where he, and Farm Source, come into the equation.
Chris says the Farm Source team are passionate about providing technical support to help farmers achieve greater efficiency and profitability.
He has been in the TSR role since October 2020, but has been with Fonterra for five years, working in the On-Farm Assets team installing and maintaining milk vats. He’s also worked as a tanker driver at Whareroa, and worked on a dairy farm in Dunsandel and a sheep and beef station in Athol. Chris still relief milks.
The move to TSR allows Chris to offer farmers personal service, a contrast to working with the On-Farm Assets team that covers 1,400 suppliers between two people.
Now Chris looks after 170 farmers.
“I’m really enjoying working with the Stratford store team,” he says.
“They’ve got a lot of knowledge, and I’ve only seen exceptional service.”
Recently, Chris visited a farmer’s turnip crop that had been underwater for more than 24 hours and hadn’t germinated.
“We were able to find germinating seed and advise against sowing grass seed due to unfavourable conditions,” he says. “We saved them time and money.”
On hand to support Chris are vendor reps who supply him with up-to-date information to assist in making decisions.
“There’s no one-stop-shop answer for everything, so reps are only a phone call away to offer specialist guidance, whether that be for cropping, rubberware, dairy hygiene, you name it.”
Also important in his role is keeping up with regulations.
After the year that was, Chris hopes to see his farmers blowing the cobwebs out this February by getting out on their boats and dropping down some lures.
However, in saying this, he suggests farmers keep an eye on local spore counts and think about autumn re-grassing. He is available to discuss varieties and packs.
Chris is a keen fisherman and regularly travels to the Coromandel to visit family and go jetskiing.
He and his wife, Michaela, live on an acre just north of Stratford. They enjoy helping out on the family farm in Toko and exploring the “hidden gem” that is Taranaki.
“The area is full of many opportunities for both business and pleasure. Dairy and oil/gas are the largest sectors for Taranaki,” he says.
“The coastline and mountain and bush are stunning for the outdoor adventurer. Come and see for yourself why Taranaki was once number two in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions to visit.”