Grass seed mixtures were bought and independently tested before selling to members right up to the Second World War. Binder twine was also stocked and in 1920, maggot fly dressing and Minimax Fire Extinguishers were first stocked. The first vehicle belonging to the Society was the Secretary’s bicycle in 1921. In 1924, one customer thought that there was no need for a telephone in the office – the public telephone box on the other side of the road would suffice; whilst in 1927 the Tongland and Twynholm Ploughing Association received 5 stones of flour, as a prize for the competitor with the largest family.
By the 1930s the first store had been bought and when Robert Hannay, Coal Merchant, died in 1943 his widow sold us her late husband’s business and property in the Tarff Station Yard. This became our first toehold in what is now our major depot. Over the next 22 years, until the railway closed, bit by bit the Society rented, renovated and extended the buildings. In 1966, the whole property, plus the Station House, was purchased for £2,300.
Originally, Tarff Valley Ltd was formed for the benefit of the parishioners of Tongland and Twynholm, then additionally for the adjoining parishes. Now – after acquiring premises in Dumfries , Castle Douglas, Whauphill, Glenluce and Castle Kennedy, the whole of South West Scotland and beyond is within our reach.
Over one hundred years since it first began Tarff now has in excess of 1200 members. With innovation and creating competitive advantage for our farming customers remaining at the heart of what we strive to achieve, the company has grown since the early days to a current turnover in the region of £54 million, with over 100 employees based at our sites throughout Southern Scotland. The business is run on a commercial basis by a team of professional staff and is governed by a Board of Directors comprising of 6 local farmers, active in all sectors of agriculture.