Mature buggers keep winning work
Men’s experience, flexibility put southern franchise on the national map
An eastern Southland business started by two blokes having a yarn over the fence last year is set to take on the rest of New Zealand after their franchise piqued the interest of a large agricultural support company. Known for its humorous, often tongue-incheek classified advertisements, Us Buggers started 18 months ago as two mature blokes looking for casual farm work based in Gore. Fast forward a year and the two-man operation has franchises out of Gore, Invercargill and Central Otago. Founder Dusty McLeod said there were also plans to extend into North Otago after being approached by ‘‘the right type of bloke’’ to buy a franchise off them. ‘‘We’ve requested them to hold on for a bit until we catch our breath,’’ he said. Mr McLeod insists the successful business really came about by accident, and he owes its success to the encouragement of eastern Southland farmers. ‘‘We were two mature blokes widely experienced in all agricultural work. ‘‘Within a month of first advertising we found we were turning away more work than we could handle.’’ The appeal of the business was simple, he said. ’’Farmers were telling us it was near impossible to to find blokes like us that could come at very short notice to help them in the busy times like tailing, weaning and so forth.’’ The fact that all Us Buggers employees are mature, responsible and experienced also proved popular with local farmers who had better things to do than train and then supervise young and sometimes irresponsible workers, Mr McLeod said. The company was recently approached by one of New Zealand’s largest agricultural support companies, looking to get financially involved in order to use its services nationally. Us Buggers Central Otago representative Peter Trueman, of Alexandra, said he got on board after answering an advertisement in the Mirror. Mr Trueman, who was semi-retired, said he wanted to get back into agriculture business and pass on the skills he had learnt throughout his life. The business would also suit people in the region who owned lifestyle and small block farms and wanted some ‘‘old fashioned experience’’ helping out, he said.
Got the skills: Us Buggers founder Dusty McLeod, of eastern Southland, and Central Otago representative Peter Trueman of Alexandra meet up in Alexandra to discuss business last week.