After receiving a grant from the Cornwall Business Enterprise Summer Company student grant program, Bobby began his own business Baler Bob Custom Work. He is shown beside the inline tube wrapper that wraps giant square or round bales of hay or straw. Courtesy Photo

Starting your own business

FINCH – Bobby Robinson, son of Doug and Jill Robinson (Payneside Farms Inc.), received a summer grant from the Cornwall Business Enterprise Summer Company to develop and operate his company. His company is named Baler Bob Custom Work, with Robinson wrapping the large square or round bales of hay or straw.

The summer grant program from the CBEC provides young entrepreneurs with the opportunity to experience developing and running a business. Robinson explained the funding is only available for the summer, however the program provides encouragement and support for those who may want to continue their business in the future. The application process was quite involved, with Robinson noting there were criteria to meet before being able to apply and once meeting them, an in-depth proposal had to be submitted for consideration. His proposal, which included an in-depth business plan, was for a “custom hay and straw wrapping business” which he explained could run through the late spring, summer, and early fall seasons.

His mother Jill explained how Bobby had taken an online course through Glengarry County 4-H which included a “pilot project from 4-H Ontario” that provided information on entrepreneurship and innovation. She continued how during the 4-H Club they talked with companies and bankers about business proposals and developing the art of pitching an idea. Jill mentioned how Bobby “had really done quite a bit of the work already” because his business proposal for the course was for this business.

Robinson explained how the large hay bales are loaded onto the machine, an inline tube wrapper, with a sensor on the machine recognizing there is a “load on the machine, will push the bale towards the back of the machine and then engages the wrap.”  As the bale moves ahead, the tube that will cover the bale is formed and the wrapping process begins. Once this is completed there is enough room for the next bale. He explained this is a self-contained machine, with its own motor and hydraulics and is pulled into the field by a pickup truck or tractor. Robinson is hired to load it and supervise its operation.

When asked about his experience in this field, Robinson explained his family farm has been wrapping bales for about 16 years. “I grew up from a very young age learning how to use the machine” during the summer, before commenting he has already completed jobs and has jobs lined up throughout the haying season.

What Robinson enjoys about this type of work is you are your own boss, can set your work hours and have that feeling of accomplishment when the job is done. He mentioned how the response from local farmers has been great, providing him with the support as he develops his business, “making connections with other farmers and growers in the area.”

For those who are considering starting up a business, he suggests being “prepared to work hard and learn from your experiences” as well talking to other business owners and researching all aspects of starting a business. Looking ahead to his future goals, Robinson mentioned he would like to expand on his present work, perhaps “buying an excavator to clear land and do excavation work” or other lines of agricultural work.

More information on Baler Bob Custom Work can be found on the company Facebook page.


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