WESTMORELAND farmer Richard McKenzie remembers the struggles he faced when he started farming.
“It was a constant struggle,” McKenzie is quoted as saying in a release. “Money was hard to come by. I didn’t know where I would find the funding to purchase feeds for my chickens and pigs.
“But thanks to the kindness of a business operator, I was able to get some credit until I got back on my feet,” the farmer said.
That business operator was Osmond Clarke, the owner of Source One Feeds & Agricultural Supplies store in Savanna-la-Mar.
Last week Wednesday Clarke was recognised by Nutramix at its Nutra Days event in Savanna-la-Mar.
Clarke’s business place was named number one for the south-west region and number one for Nutramix feed sales in 2017 across the island.
The release said scores of his customers came out to celebrate and show their support for the hard-working business owner.
Several people in Westmoreland and adjoining parishes have benefited from Clarke’s kindness over the years, the release said.
“He has been a great support system for me. He’s always accommodating and I can always lean on him,” Joan Dottin, a pig and cattle farmer from Sweet River, related.
“Years ago, it was difficult to get feed for my animals but now there are a lot of feed stores around. I cannot compare them with Mr Clarke. If I am having difficulties and I don’t know what to do, he would advise me. Because of the size of my farm, I need the goods to be delivered to me and he has facilitated that,” Dottin continued.
Pig farmer Bernadette Murray, who is from Waterworks in the parish, has been a customer of Clarke’s since 2007.
“Mr Clarke’s business has contributed a lot to my farm. Whether I have the money or not, he ensures that I get the goods that I need. I think he made the right choice in opening that store at the location. The service that I receive is very good,” Murray said .
Clarke was emotional when commenting on the recognition by Nutramix.
“It’s a feeling of satisfaction, elation and, at the same time, a feeling of humility; mixed feelings and gratitude towards Newport Mills for their support and guidance over the years,” the business owner said.
He added: “I want to express gratitude to my staff for their dedication and commitment, and to the customers for their loyalty and obviously for their appreciation of the service that we provide.”
According to the release, Clarke employs 32 individuals from the parish.
The release said the businessman worked as a manager at a leading bank for more than 20 years when he started Source One Feeds & Agricultural Supplies in 1994. He attended The Mannings High School and later Kingston College before working with his father on his sugar cane farm.
Besides his business, the release said Clarke is involved in his community. He is chairman of the Paradise Preparatory School and The Mannings school board, and is vice-president of the Lay Magistrates Association, as well as a member of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce.
“Mr Clarke has been one of, if not, the oldest customer of Newport Mills Ltd. He has been selling Nutramix feed for almost 23 years. Since the inception of Nutra Days, he has won the trophy for his geographic zone each year. However, for the first time this year, he has won the national title, which means he sold the most feed as a customer in all of Jamaica,” said Winston Thomas, technical sales manager at Newport Mills.
He added: “This has been a tremendous achievement which was achieved through hard work and dedication. We congratulate him, his staff and customers for their support and wish for them continued success in 2018 and beyond.”