Pete Taylor & Holly Lockley
Taylor Farm Supplies (TFS), based in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. We meet TFS AMTRA RAMAs, Holly Lockley and owner Pete Taylor, who provide an insight into their business and working closely with livestock producers to give trusted advice.
Pete started his animal health career in 1984 at Youngs Animal Health in Glasgow. With Pete’s enthusiasm for animals, he was one of the first staff members to qualify as a RAMA (SQP).
Starting TFS in 2013 along with his wife, Pete’s role involves organising stock, orders, deliveries, scheduling customer delivery sheets and assisting with the direct deliveries service. Pete describes TFS as the ‘go to’ company for the best, honest, impartial advice and product recommendation.
“What makes our business so efficient is our fleet of delivery vans that offer customers same day and next day delivery services. If customers are in trouble, we will find a way to get their order to them as soon as possible to ensure their livestock does not suffer,” Pete says.
“I pride myself in establishing trusting relationships with my customers, and hearing positive feedback from those I have supported gives me great satisfaction,” says Pete.
“We employ a full-time warehouse delivery driver, and Holly, who is the second RAMA in the business that offers the same high level of service and advice as myself. We really do have an excellent team,” adds Pete.
TFS was the first Downland franchise to invest in FECPAK, the professional worm egg counting system.
“Scouring animals does not always mean they have worms. We adopt the principles of SCOPS and have an excellent relationship with animal health professionals sharing best practice and ideas.
“It is essential farmers get the best advice so that resistance to anthelmintics is not accelerated – staff at TFS will only prescribe products that are required, not wanted,” Pete shares.
“Handing unsuitable products to customers requesting them should not still be happening. It is important that RAMAs are advisors, not just an order taker and supplier,” adds Pete.
Holly works alongside business owner Pete Taylor as an AMTRA RAMA. In 2021, Holly gained her degree in Agriculture from the Royal Agricultural University, where she discovered her passion for animal health.
Prior to her role at TFS, Holly spent ten years working on farms around Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, with an array of livestock, lambing ewes to calf rearing, before spending a further five years as a herdswoman on a 650 head dairy farm.
Along with her on-farm experience and her degree in Agriculture, Holly also achieved a Triple Distinction Star Diploma in Animal Health at Hartpury college and participated in a farming apprenticeship covering livestock, crops, and mechanics.
In 2021 Holly started working at TFS and shortly after gained her AMTRA RAMA qualification.
Holly’s day starts in the office, where she responds to email enquiries and processes orders. In some cases, this will involve prescribing animal medicines and batch checking to ensure they are suitable for use and fit to leave the premises.
“I often visit clients to discuss and create personalised plans for their livestock, including the products they should be using and scheduling over the coming months,” says Holly.
The role of a RAMA is to ensure the medicines they are prescribing will be effective and prevent issues before they become detrimental to an animal’s health, whilst also informing the customer of the correct and safe way to use them.
“Prevention is always better than cure. Part of our role as RAMAs is to inform customers of the correct dosage, time to be treating, and express the importance of testing beforehand,” explains Holly.
“Trust and communication is essential to ensure animals are receiving the best healthcare and appropriate medicines. We regularly communicate with clients to keep them up to date with certain SCOPS or NADIS forecasts,” Holly adds.
One of Holly’s biggest challenges is encouraging farmers to consider new health schemes, alternative handling facilities, and new technology to make their jobs easier.
“Having worked in the beef and dairy industry and owning my own flock of pedigree Suffolks, I can relate to customers on a personal level when it comes to concerns over their livestock, and in most cases, this helps me build strong relationships with them,” says Holly.
“Some customers can be ‘stuck in their ways’, especially those that continue to farm like the generations before them. My largest goal is to spread awareness of new animal health aids to the next generation, encouraging a more efficient and proactive future to animal medicines,” adds Holly.