Meet the Team: Steve and the Mechanics

Meet the Team: Steve and the Mechanics

11th February 2022

Steven Little, Facilities Manager at Scottish Agronomy

What do you make happen at Scottish Agronomy?

At Scottish Agronomy I ensure that all items of equipment, be it vehicles, machinery, workshop, even office equipment, is kept in good condition – ready to be put to work by the Trials Team and others, while also maintained and kept compliant with relevant legislation.

Most of my time is taken up managing our ever-growing fleet of vehicles, trailers, combines, tractors and all other machinery too. I have responsibility for procurement and specification of the new equipment we bring in. Dealing with our suppliers for warranty, repair, servicing and parts supply. I like to undertake as many of our own repairs as possible.

Trouble shooting and problem solving can feature heavily in my day, and I am also responsible for ensuring that our premises are safe and compliant.

During the growing season I can also be found working with the Trials Team, usually sowing, spraying or – best of all – combining.

What’s the best part of the job?

The variety. There is always something different going on. Having the autonomy to plan my own workload and also the surprises that crop up during the day keep us challenged. The most rewarding challenge being when a combine has a fault that I am able to fix and see working again. Somehow, Adam doesn’t share my enthusiasm for this!?!

What is your favourite time of year and why?

Harvest time is the best for me. I have been on combines for 25 years, since I was a lowly student, then through two years of combining and trucking in the USA, since then many more harvests at Scottish Agronomy. The trial sites look their best when at the stubble and chopped straw stage, the season is coming to an end and the new one about to begin.

How did you get to where you are today?

I first came to Scottish Agronomy as a Trials Officer in July 2004 after having worked in the USA. Right away I was put to work on a combine. Adam had told me they had a fleet of seven Claas combines at the time, that they would be a bit different from what I was used to. Well, that was indeed the case. I went from brand new to vintage, and air con to fresh air!

Over time I had taken on more responsibilities and created my own role within the company, working away in the background, eventually taking up the new position of Facility Manager in 2018.

What, for you, makes Scottish Agronomy stand apart?

We perform our own research, and our agronomists have access to that throughout the year, as well as the data from trials done for other companies. This unique base of un-biased information means that that the members get the best advice without any pressure.

What do you find most rewarding?

Being a part of the team that has seen the company grow so well. The amount of work we can do now is unrecognisable from in the early days.

The huge investment made in staff and equipment has allowed us to become a leader in the industry.

I am looking forward to having been chosen to run a prototype electric tractor for our supplier here for establishing our trial sites.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you

Away from work I enjoy helping with my daughter’s horse riding, I also enjoy archery.

I have completed a Land Rover project.

I like American country music, you may well hear this from the pickup if you are within a few miles!

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