John Deere dealer Burden Bros Agri Ltd will be expanding its agricultural machinery business in the south-east of England this autumn, by taking on the sales area currently managed by Bell Agricultural of Romney Marsh in Kent.Burden Bros Agri currently has two outlets, at Stockbury in north Kent and Framfield in East Sussex, and employs 45 staff in total. Existing arrangements for sales and customer support of John Deere and other product franchises in south Kent will continue until further notice; Burden Bros Agri plans to open a new outlet in due course to ensure continuity of supply and service to John Deere customers in the area.The change is part of John Deere’s ongoing Dealer of Tomorrow strategy, which is designed to strengthen the European dealer network and provide long-term stability for both dealers and customers.“We are delighted to have been asked by John Deere to expand our services and facilities to cover the Kent and East Sussex region and parts of Surrey,” says Burden Bros Agri dealer principal Dale Burden. “This ties in well with our plans to grow the business and to be the partner of choice for the products we deliver.“We are committed to building on the high levels of service and after-sales back-up that customers in our new trading area have been accustomed to receiving from Bell Agricultural. We look forward to maintaining a healthy and successful business relationship with the farming community throughout the south-east of England.”Burden Bros Agri Ltd is the most recent John Deere dealer to be recognised by the London Stock Exchange as one of the Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. The LSE report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized businesses. To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their industry peers.The dealership was also one of the first in the John Deere network to develop its own FarmSight division, providing farmers and contractors with the latest precision farming services and technology. New developments include JDLink telematics, Remote Display Access, Wireless Data Transfer and other advanced methods of seamlessly connecting machines, operators and fields to improve productivity and efficiency.
Final year graduate student Simon Dexter from Grantham in Lincolnshire has won the 2015 SRUC Elmwood Student of the Year Award, which was sponsored by John Deere for the first time this year.Simon was judged the college’s best overall HND Golf Course Management student and was presented with his award certificate by Sandy Armit of local John Deere dealer The Double A Trading Company Ltd, on the college campus at Cupar in north-east Fife. SRUC Elmwood is renowned for its leading golf training and education programmes, and boasts a number of famous graduates including Gordon McKie, course manager of The Old Course at nearby St Andrews as well as Gordon Moir, director of greenkeeping and Kevin Muir, course manager of the Eden Course.Simon, who is an R&A Greenkeeping Scholar and a member of BIGGA, won gift vouchers to the value of £300 for golf supplies from The Old Course shop at St Andrews Links, where he worked in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as a seasonal greenkeeper, working under course managers Gordon McKie and Kevin Muir.After working for a grounds maintenance company and as a trainee groundsman at a private school in his early 20s, Simon gained a Level 2 Sports Science qualification at Myerscough College. He then began his greenkeeping education on the Ohio State Programme in the US in 2012/2013, studying cool and warm season grass species and learning about all aspects of turf science.“After leaving school I just fell in love with working with turf,” he says. “I then wanted to seek out a fresh challenge, so the Ohio State Programme was an exciting opportunity for me to progress my education and learn new skills.“I’m now planning to return to Myerscough to take a BSc Hons degree course starting in September, and then possibly do a Masters degree on some aspect of the environment, biodiversity and sustainability. I believe there will be some interesting opportunities relating to golf courses in this area in the future.”The college’s judging panel praised Simon Dexter for his excellent standard of work submitted in all units and motivation to learn as much as he could about his chosen career, and put this into practice. The award citation added: “Simon has a great passion to progress in the industry, which came out in all his efforts, and displayed a very professional image at such a young age. He stood out as a learner who gained so much more in terms of education and personal development in his time with us.”
Burnley-based John Deere turf machinery dealer Balmers GM Ltd will be expanding its sales area and opening a second outlet in Wakefield at the end of September 2015. Balmers will be taking over the area currently managed by Bob Wild Grass Machinery Ltd of Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, who will no longer hold the John Deere franchise after September 30th.Balmers GM Ltd has been established in the turf machinery business since 1979, and as Balmers Garden Machinery was appointed as a John Deere main dealer in 1992. The family-run business relocated to new, state of the art premises at Dunnockshaw in Burnley in October 2014, as part of its ongoing development as one of the UK’s largest groundcare dealerships. The new depot will be situated on the Monckton Road Industrial Estate in Wakefield.In addition to John Deere’s full line of professional and domestic turf equipment, Balmers GM Ltd supplies and services machinery from the likes of Allett, Etesia, GreenMech, Scag, Snow-Ex, Stihl and Weidenmann. The company currently employs around 40 people across all departments, providing new and used equipment sales, service, parts and commercial hire to a wide range of customers including local authorities, sports clubs, contractors, the leisure industry, equestrian centres and smallholders.In 2012 John Deere and Balmers were the official suppliers of golf course maintenance equipment to The Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club. Balmers GM Ltd also maintains one of the country’s largest stocks of used commercial machinery, delivering to both national and international customers.“We have grown a successful business over the years by demonstrating a high level of professionalism and customer support,” says dealer principal and company founder David Balmer. “This expansion represents a strengthening of our association with John Deere, as part of the company’s ongoing dealer development strategy, and we will be committed to providing the same high standards of customer service across the new trading area.”