A big thank you from Kelvin to all members of the KCL team, past and present, and all our valued customers for the past forty years! Forty years and still going strong!
I can’t believe it was 47 years ago I was given an opportunity to work for Boots Farm Sales as their Fields Technical Salesman for Somerset. Quite an exciting but daunting change from the laboratory I worked in whilst studying chemistry at Bath Technical College.
The first day in the field set me up for a life-long career in agriculture, with a valuable lesson learned on the afternoon of that day. That being, keep your eyes on the farm collie, the teeth marks on the back of my leg remain as a reminder to this day!
Three years later Boots Farm Sales merged with Fisons Ltd, forming a new company FBC Ltd. At that point many good and experienced field staff were made redundant; I was given the opportunity to manage a sales team of nine fieldsmen in Wales and the West Midlands.
This meant a move to Herefordshire and a step up the corporate ladder. Two years of middle management changed my outlook on life – far too many chiefs and not enough Indians came to mind!
One day, after weeks of mindless meetings, I decided corporate life was not for me. So, I resigned, moved back to Somerset, and set up my own business selling veterinary pharmaceuticals, nutritional products and chemicals – the birth of Kelvin Cave Ltd.
Seven years later I was approached by T G Jeary Ltd, a
competitor that made me an offer to buy my business, which I initially refused, but it got me thinking about the way I wanted to develop aspects of my business and my personal interest.
When I was with Boots Farm Sales there were two divisions: animal health/nutrition and agronomy; two completely different aspects of agricultural product supply and advice. It dawned on me there was a link between the two that nobody was addressing in detail, this being the preservation of cereal and forage crops. With this light bulb moment, I agreed to sell 80% of my business, keeping my company name and any products that related to crop preservation.
Focusing on the finer details of crop preservation has led us to become a recognised business dealing with customers all over the UK from the Channel Islands to Shetland. Other highlights in our history include when we won The Prince Philip award for the best technical exhibit at the Dairy Event at Stoneleigh in 1999 – Crimping: The Future of Animal Nutrition. In the following years we were runners-up in 2003 with the Feedmaster System and finalists in 2012 for our Ensiling System.
Yes, we are a commercial company, but we are fully independent of corporate influence. Everything we do is backed by science and proven independent trials. It’s probably why so many independent nutritionists and advisors refer their clients and customers to us.
Now at 68 years of age, many ask me: “when are you going to retire?”
Well, whilst I still have good health and the immense satisfaction that farmers (many of whom are now good friends) still want us to assist them with their crop preservation, I will continue. Also, what keeps me enjoying what I do is being surrounded by a wonderful team of loyal hard-working people who are equally motivated to provide the service and advice that we are known for.
Thank you to all of them and whilst we are all still hungry for the next innovation, we are very much going strong.