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“I never imagined my business would grow so big,” Read more... 

From Button Farm, Herongate near Brentwood, Essex, Stewart Theobald runs a contract baling business that focusses on hay, haylage and straw.

With the exception of straw baling, his operation, SJ Theobald and Sons, is entirely grass-based, responding to the needs of livestock and equestrian customers. “I never imagined my business would grow so big,” he says. “In the last 37 years, I’ve gone from a man and a tractor to producing thousands of bales each year from 5,000-acres of arable and 3,000 acres of grass.”

This family-run business includes sons Sam and Ben for contracting operations, while daughters Kelly and Polly run a retail outlet at Button Farm supplying pet and equestrian supplies to the public. Horsepower requirement is met by a fleet of six Massey Ferguson tractors from 180-260hp, to handle four MF big square balers, an inline MF1840 conventional baler and bale accumulator, plus triple mower, twin rotor rake and a variable chamber round baler.

The fleet also includes bale chasers, trailers and wrappers, plus 7m and 8m Manitou telehandlers with a variety of attachments to take care of bale handing and stacking. “We can accommodate just about any bale type, size and shape, for our customers,” he says. “We don’t give them what we think they should have – we work with them to deliver what they need, when they need it.” His success in part, comes down to reliability, communication with customers, and an ability to underpromise and over-deliver. His approach also transcends into tractor and machinery buying too.

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