Oxford Kubota, farm, ranch stores shaping up

05271426 Citizen Kubota bizJoey Holcomb came to Oxford to own and operate a Kubota dealership. What he and business partner Brian Austin figured out was the need for a local farm/ranch supplier as well.

Holcomb, who commutes everyday from Pontotoc, started his relationship with Kubota over six years ago, working out of Tupelo. The current dealership, that features tractors, zero-turn lawnmowers and other farm related equipment, opened up at 93 Hwy. 30 East in April 2013.
So far the response from the general public has been a positive one, especially for items needed on a more daily basis.

“The territory came open and Kubota was looking for someone to come to Oxford. You don’t see many new tractor dealerships going in anywhere. It’s usually mom and pop type places and they’ve been in business for 30, 40 years, so what we’ve done is kind of unusual,” said Holcomb, who added the farm and ranch supply came out of necessity. “I’ve had people tell me that the co-op maybe went out of business in 2003 and ’04. You’ve got one place that sells a little of this and then another that sells something else. Nobody that we’ve seen has come together and sells all of the products at one location.”

Holcomb is a consumer of farming supplies such as feed for livestock and pesticides and he, too, was having to drive over 30 miles, one way, to buy his products.

“We’ve got horses and cattle and by the time I would get off work and head home, everything in Pontotoc where I normally shopped was closed. I got to looking around in Oxford for another source for me to get my stuff and there really wasn’t this type of business in town,” Holcomb said. “We felt like the farm and ranch business goes right along with tractors. If you’ve got a farm, you’ve probably got a tractor and some livestock, dogs and cats. It kind of goes hand-in-hand.”

The farm supply portion of the business is housed in a 12,000 square foot building. It opened April 2, and in just eight weeks, that side of the business has been very steady.

“People were having to go 35 miles, east or west, so the response has been tremendous. Everyone has been real excited about it. That’s the first thing they say when the come in ‘We don’t have to drive to somewhere else anymore.’ With the cost of fuel, and it’s a two-hour round trip by the time you look around, and time is money,” Holcomb said. “Now we’ve made it to where people can run by the farm and ranch supply real quick. There were people who were making a list and saving up to buy in bulk. Now they don’t have to do that. And there is something here for everybody.

“We’re open six days a week, 7 in the morning to 6 at night, Monday through Friday and then 7 to 5 on Saturday,” Holcomb added. “We’re here all the time. It’s 12 hours a day, six days a week and then you take it home with you at night. You don’t ever get away from it. I love it though. It’s not a job to me.”

When it comes to taking care of the customer, the sky is the limit, Holcomb said. He is even about to start offering customers the chance to buy, and shape, a Cowboy hat.

“I’m from a rodeo background, I’ve got two boys that rodeo and a daughter that rodeos. This is like Christmas to us everyday. To get a black felt hat shaped in North Mississippi, you have to go to Cowboy Corner in Southaven. That’s another thing that I wanted to stop when we opened up this part of the business,” Holcomb said. “I’ve got a steamer and the people that are showing, they’ve got to have that hat shaped just right. That was in my original plan. I said that is one thing we’re going to sell. We’re selling that $25 hat, but also that $500 show, Resistol-type hats you have to get shaped.”

Holcomb said that all his felt will be arriving in June and that he’s already had three people come by, with hats in cases, to ask about the shaping service.

“The word has spread that we’re going to shape Cowboy hats. Who ever heard of that in Oxford you know?’” Holcomb said. “You can say we do a little bit of everything here. Customer service is what we want to offer people. We’re willing to do whatever if the customer base is here, we’re willing to expand.”

It’s hard to imagine more that could be offered, but Holcomb has seven acres at his disposal, a large plot and more than big enough for the storage of such items such as hay or fertilizer.

“Our prices are competitive with everybody and since we’ve opened, we’ve sold more fertilizer than we can keep just because everybody told us we have the best prices. We’re having to go twice a week just to go pick up fertilizer. That’s our number one selling product right now due to the time of the year,” Holcomb said. “We’ve already found a source for alfalfa hay. That’s a great product for our horses, but we’re also going to have mixed grass and Bermuda grass hay for the winter. We’re going to try and stock at least 1,000 bales because there are people that come by and buy two or three or four bales at a time, especially if they’re boarding a horse and they don’t have room to put up 2 or 300 bales.”

It’s also possible to see more ATVs out in front of the dealership.

“We’ve also looked into some ATV and UTVs to go along with our Kubotas. The sport ATV is something we don’t have and that’s been tried here in Oxford but there is nothing here now and we’re willing to give that a try as well,” Holcomb said.

john.davis@journalinc.com
Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd

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About John Davis

Eighteen years in the business. Dedicated to providing the best local content for sports. Oxford, Lafayette, Ole Miss, youth sports, outdoors and the things nobody else wants to cover.