Matt Redman

College Farm, Matt Redman Agriculture, Bedfordshire

MATT Redman’s contracting business started even before he went to Harper Adams University, running an old Nuffield tractor with a transport box and having local contracts for gardening work.

Post-university, he has developed a business with a key focus on black-grass control.

The move into serious contracting came after doing his BASIS qualifications and buying his own sprayer.

Winning the Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year award in 2014 was a big boost to the business and helped develop many contacts.

Matt believes attending agronomy open days and being active on social media have all helped build his business.

He developed a specialism in Avadex application and has also invested in a three-metre zero-till drill, upgrading it to a 6m model this spring.

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What the judges said: “Matt identifies and seeks opportunities and puts them into positive practise. He hasn’t just followed the crowd and he has been innovative in how he has identified which areas to focus on and how he markets his services.”

On winning: Matt Redman said: “I am very surprised, I didn’t really think I’d win. I think contractors are very important to the future of agriculture – being able to spread the cost of expensive machinery is of benefit to everyone.”