Craig Scott is an agricultural engineer and was working for a local tractor dealer in Aberdeenshire when he saw a gap in the market for NSTS testing (National Sprayer Testing Scheme) and decided to offer the service independently. Working part time he started CT Scott Ltd at the start of 2016 carrying out tests and hiring out a small plant.

By August 2016, Craig went full time with C T Scott. Initially carrying out NSTS tests, general all-round farm mechanic jobs and building a customer base. In January 2017 they got a contract with crop sprayer company Agrifac to be their sales and service partner covering the area north of the Forth Road Bridge.

The Scottish Farmer: CT Scott do all their own servicing and repairs in houseCT Scott do all their own servicing and repairs in house

At the end of 2018 he got into a contract with Bateman Sprayers and by 2019 Craig employed his first member of staff. That same year they built their brand new facility in Insch, Aberdeenshire and became dealers for Landquip. In 2020 they became the dealers for Spreadpoint suppling their range of lime spreaders, water bowsers and other machines. And latterly, in the second half of 2023, they were appointed importer for Scotland by American company Ag Leader supplying their GPS and connected farm systems.

“If you want to provide good quality service you need to be working directly with good manufacturers and products that customers believe in. This way you do not fall behind in technology and get the service back up that is needed to provide to your customers”

The Scottish Farmer: A new Agrifac Condor V ready to leave the yard for its new homeA new Agrifac Condor V ready to leave the yard for its new home

Craig’s wife Emma had been helping out with all the paperwork and invoices in her spare time since the start but she joined the team officially in 2020.

“Emma was always helping out with the business, it was when we had our third child that going back to her current job for 4 days was not justifiable with childcare so she decided to come and work with us full time. Emma is a director of the business and does the stuff behind the scenes like admin, HR, and HSE. Along with a part time bookkeeper does all the invoices and accounting for us. Emma dots the I’s and crosses the T’s, she’s a very important player in our team”

Even during the pandemic, the business grew exponentially. They recruited another 2 full time members of staff and grew their customer base.

The Scottish Farmer: Two new Bateman RB 35's leaving the yard to go to their new homesTwo new Bateman RB 35's leaving the yard to go to their new homes

“I think it helped us because farmers don’t stop so we couldn’t stop. The only difference was having to alter work conditions for the team by having everyone work in different bubbles. Fortunately, our staff and clients were very accommodating about it.”

In 2021 they began to look for a yard in Angus, at the start of 2022 Keith Sinclair joined them as a full time service engineer and they took a lease of a shed at Eassie near Forfar.

The Scottish Farmer: CT Scott's service van on-siteCT Scott's service van on-site

“Our Forfar yard is quite close to the Perthshire border so it means we can cover quite a large area within roughly an hour. From our Insch location, we can cover Aberdeenshire and Morayshire and with the Forfar site, we are able to accommodate Angus, Perthshire, and Fife. Although we do have several good customers further away than this in areas such as Lothian, Scottish borders, Dumfries and the Black Isle”

Currently, the main office is based in Insch where the team consists of Craig, Emma and three engineers, with the Forfar facility only having one core team member with an ad hoc part time engineer and farm help.

“We are currently looking to recruit more staff members. We are trying to get another engineer in Forfar and we want to get a parts salesperson and manager for a new parts store we are developing at the site in Insch

The Scottish Farmer: Craig and Emma missed the awards but were well represented by the rest of the team (left to right) Martyn Burnett, Annabell Rennie, Jake Rennie, Keith Sinclair, Michelle Sinclair, Ross Ellis, Gillian PorterCraig and Emma missed the awards but were well represented by the rest of the team (left to right) Martyn Burnett, Annabell Rennie, Jake Rennie, Keith Sinclair, Michelle Sinclair, Ross Ellis, Gillian Porter (Image: web)

“Our whole business revolves around the team, our staff are our main asset and without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide anything close to the service that we do for our customers.”

Craig has always worked as a service engineer in agriculture and attributes it to the growth they have had as a business.

“Word of mouth is a huge thing with farmers so I have always prioritised customer service over everything else. You have to believe in the products you are selling and being able to understand a farmer’s grievances really helps. I will always try and help any customer out.”

Craig has found using social media to promote C T Scott very beneficial.

“Social media really is our main point of advertising outside of events and shows. Not everyone is on Facebook but if someone sees it, they will tell other people about it and so on. Using social media has really helped get the word out there about us.”

C T Scott also makes themselves known at local shows such as the Royal Northern Spring Show and Turriff Show. In 2022 they had their first stand at the Highland and haven’t looked back.

“The Royal Highland was just a fantastic show for us to be at. Getting to meet everyone and network really helps to get our name out there. We have been at the Northern Spring and Turriff since we began and there’s always been good growth from them. Hopefully, we will be able to attend more shows and events in future.

Outside of the business, Craig and Emma live on their family farm in Aberdeenshire where they grow 100 acres of cereals and let out 30 acres of grass for seasonal holdings.

“We grow barley, wheat and oil seed rape which is looked after by me and my father. We share the sowing as I am always very busy during that time and we do the ploughing between us. I also do all the spraying and combining. I top-dress all the crops with liquid fertiliser and apply our own lime so I can then go back to our customers and give them any information they need about the sprayers and spreaders down to the nozzles they need. We also sow with liquid fertiliser which benefits me when fitting up customers' drills and planters with liquid fertiliser systems.

“I have to practise what I preach, and it means I can fully test out the systems in a practical setting outside of the yard.”

C T Scott not only deals in new products but also a lot of used machines.

“We aim to provide a product for every level of customer with every level of price range. We are able to get a lot of our second-hand range from trade-ins”

“When we sell a product we thoroughly check it over to make sure its new owner has peace of mind when it goes home. I hope that giving that level of service encourages farmers to use us time and time again”

When it came to the awards night, Craig and Emma sadly had to miss the evening because of a long-awaited family holiday.

“I remember being in the middle of a kids' disco in Portugal and being sent the video of it all happening. Both of us wanted the rest of the team there so they could have a good time but we weren’t expecting to win. It was really humbling to be recognised amongst all the other worthy nominees but what really was touching was all the phone calls we got afterwards from our clients congratulating us. We are very grateful to be recognised and we can hopefully use this momentum to get our name out there.”

With 2024 just around the corner Craig and the team have plenty of plans coming together.

“We will have our new purpose built parts store up and running. We also have quite a few new orders for the next year so looking forward to that. Ultimately, we are just looking to continue to grow as a company and be open to the new opportunities that hopefully come our way.”

Judges comment: “CT Scott has come a long in the short time since their conception. We were extremely impressed by how committed they were to delivering a first class service to their customers. We particularly admired the approach of testing repaired machinery on their own land before returning to customers. They have identified a niche market which they have largely captured. They would probably sell and service 70% of the self-propelled sprayers in Scotland.

CT Scott provides a great 24/7 service across Scotland and employs an excellent team of engineers. A young company which is being driven successfully forward by its ambitious founder.”

It’s all about looking out for their customers and working as a team for Winner of Machinery Dealer of Year, CT Scott.