The Hinton family live and breathe agricultural contracting and have done so since the 1930s.
Generations of the family have helped Hinton Contracting grow into what it is today and now the next generation are continuing the tradition.
Daniel Hinton and his partner Sheridan Standen took over Hinton Contracting from Daniel's parents Mark and Wendy Hinton last year.
Before taking over the business, Daniel dairy farmed for seven years when he left school.
"I travelled through Europe and Asia for a couple of years. I worked in the United Kingdom, doing a bit of labour and then worked on a farm in Cornwall. I came back in 2013 and learnt some of the different roles in the business."
He says working as a dairy farmer has given him an understanding of a farmer's needs.
"It gave me an insight to what is important to farmers."
Sheridan previously worked as an environmental scientist and she and Daniel plan to utilise her skills and background as the business continues to grow with the times.
Since it started in the 1930s, the business has always been based in Stratford, says Daniel.
"It all started with Jack Hinton, who started doing his neighbours' haystacks with horse drawn gear. In 1948, Jack's son Lewis took over the business and purchased the first tractor, which he would contract to local farmers. In the 1960s Jack's son Fergus and his wife Nola Hinton took over and started forage harvesting, mowing and conventional hay baling."
In the 1980s Fergus and Nola's son, David, joined Fergus with the conventional baling and hedge cutting. David and his wife Kathryn formed Hinton Contracting Limited Company in 1996. David's brother Mark was an owner driver for the business for a few years before David sold the business to Mark and his wife Wendy in 2002.
Daniel says his parents doubled the size of the operation.
"They added a broader range of agricultural services to include roller drilling, disc drilling, rotary hoeing, hedge mulching, effluent pond pumping, haymaking, silage, trailer work, drain cleaning, reseeding and cropping."
Daniel says the reseeding and cropping service provides farmers with different feed options and rejuvenating different paddocks. The hedge mulching is another service farmers need.
Effluent irrigation is another big part of the business, he says.
"Previously, we spent lots of time cleaning out ponds, but now that compliance regulations have changed and as more effluent is dispersed onto the land, we spend less time cleaning ponds and more time handling our clients' effluent for them."
A large pump sits at the pond and uses flat hoses to pump the effluent from pond to tractor. Effluent is placed onto the paddock with a dribble bar using a flow meter and GPS to ensure accuracy and correct spreading.
As a grass-based business, hay and silage make up the most significant portion of the Hinton Contracting workload, Daniel says.
The team offers round hay and silage bales, big square silage and hay bales, pit silage and conventional hay.
To start they mow the grass then leave it to dry before its put into storage. To complete the jobs, they use Strautmann and Pottinger loader wagons.
For the silage pit they load it into the silage stack and use a SilaPress roller behind a Massey Ferguson pit tractor to compact silage in the pit and take out any excess air.
The team have 10 McHale and Krone round balers, two Massey Ferguson big square balers, nine loader wagons, two pit tractors and two conventional balers.
The business now has a fulltime team of 10 staff, which grows to 30 in the busy season, Daniel says.
"We're lucky to have a good group of core staff and a skilled bunch of casual staff. It's great to be surrounded by a skilled team."
The team is at their busiest during summer when they're harvesting.
"From October to Christmas, we do lots of loader wagon work and baled silage. We then focus on hay and more baled silage.
"Autumn and spring is our fringe season where we're busy with reseeding and hedge mulching. We do the effluent irrigation all year round."
Hinton Contracting runs up to 25 tractors and 100 other implements.
"As the demand for services has grown we've taken on more gear."
The company has always used Massey Ferguson and Fendt tractors, he says.
"The company's always used these as they're the best tractors for the job and the most reliable. Field Torque Taranaki are our service agents which is run by my cousin Carl and Uncle David."
Hinton Contracting runs a fairly extensive workshop, says Daniel.
"We have an engineer and diesel mechanic and a bunch of other skilled staff who keep things going and maintained. As well as regular everyday maintenance, we aim for all our gear to undergo maintenance during the winter so it's ready for the busy season."
He says the plans for the future of the business is developing services and support around environmental legislation.