Archive for January, 2011
Following on the heels of crowing a U.S. winner for Operator of the Year, AGCO is excited to announce the three outstanding finalists for Operator of the Year in Canada, a program that recognizes the hard work and accomplishments of Canada’s best custom applicators. Judging criteria for Operator of the Year includes customer service, overall leadership and commitment to the application business and community involvement. Check back with us in February to see who takes home the title of Operator of the Year and a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Congratulations and good luck to our finalists!
Brett Bohachewski, Aylsham Agro (Aylsham, Saskatchewan) — In 2010, Bohachewski sprayed nearly 60,000 acres and floated 5,500 acres with a track record of excellence that rivals veteran custom applicators. He also finds time before peak season to personally visit his customers to educate them on the latest equipment or to troubleshoot issues in the field. Bohachewski’s sense of responsibility is evident throughout the community as he balances his professional duties with being a member of the volunteer fire department and a floor hockey coach for people with special needs.
Patrick Potter, Dow Fertilizer (Onoway, Alberta) — For the past 12 years, without fail, Patrick Potter has come to work at Dow Fertilizer with an attitude that this business is his business. It’s Potter’s keen understanding of the application business that has made a trusted resource for counsel and solutions-based advice on equipment troubleshooting and other operational issues that fellow custom applicators come across in the line of work. Potter also is a livestock producer and dog trainer.
Mike Rempel, Domain Co-op (Domain, Manitoba) — Rain around Manitoba dampened fields and the chances for a quick and timely spraying season in 2010, but Mike Rempel never waivered from first contacting customers to discuss field conditions and to also follow up if tracks were left in the field due to heavy machine weight on the damp soil. A careful and consummate professional, Rempel covers more than 50,242 acres annually with a nearly spotless record. Rempel farms part-time and also is an active member of the community, including serving as greeter at the Doman Community Hall.
Do you have an outstanding operator that you would like to give credit to? Tell us about them here!
Valmet tractor production began after the Second World War in Finland. Rifle, mortar and aeroplane motor factories were turned to the production of agricultural tractors, of which there was a great shortage after the war. The first Valmet 15 tractors were finished in 1951.
Only ten years later Valmet established a tractor factory in Mogi das Cruzes in Brazil. The first five Valmet 360 D tractors were finished in December 1960. The courageous and risky decision to establish a factory on the other side of the world has since been proven to be right: Valmet do Brasil is today a central part of the Valtra brand.
In 1978 Valmet bought the Swedish Volvo BM tractor operation. The roots of Volvo BM and its predecessors Bolinder and Munktell lie deep in Swedish industrial history. Theofron Munktell established a machine shop in Eskilstuna in 1832. The first tractor of Valtra’s Swedish branch was finished in 1913. Valmet and Volvo BM joined forces in 1978 and the first Volvo BM Valmet 05 tractor series we designed together was launched in 1982.
The AGCO SISU POWER engine factory in Linnavuori is closely connected to Valtra’s history. The Valtra tractors produced at Suolahti have always been equipped with AGCO SISU POWER engines, or those of its predecessors Sisu Diesel and Valmet diesel. Nowadays AGCO SISU POWER engines are produced in various factories around the world and they can be found, under the hood of Valtra and many other offroad work machines.
Valtra may be 60 years old but it knows its roots and sees the future with enthusiasm. The small Finnish producer has become a world wide tractor brand. As a part of AGCO, Valtra has gained the support of one of the largest agricultural groups in the world. Read the complete Valtra history.
Farm Life Lesson 6: A Time for Rest
I was working on stuffing in the last box of decorations into the closet. The Christmas gifts had been unwrapped, the stockings un-stuffed, and the tree un-decorated. I leaned against the door, willing it closed for another year. And ever so slowly I sank down to the floor. It had been a wonderful Christmas…but I was exhausted. I really do love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I love all the fun activities and family gatherings, but come January, I am ready for a break!
You know…it reminds me of our fields. All summer long those fields work at growing our crops. Then comes the busy fall harvest and the field work that prepares the soil bed for next year’s crop. But oh, the winter! That is when our fields get their much needed rest. It is a time for the natural break down to take place. Last years stalks decompose, adding nutrients to the soil. The winter snows collect and melt, building a water profile and adding nitrogen. The dirt clods soften up, getting the soil composition just right for spring planting. This time of rest is vital to next year’s crop. My grandpa was a dry land farmer. Field rest is so important with dry land farming. Grandpa discovered early in his career that by setting up a crop rotation, he was able to increase his yield, sometimes double. Those fields needed a break!
I believe in working hard. In fact, I love working hard. But sometimes, a little rest is called for. Appropriate even. Maybe it even makes us more productive.
Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to grab my mug of hot chocolate and my garden seed catalog. I’m thinking I could use a little break.
What do you do to take a break in the “off” season?
As you may know by now, I grew
up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. One of the things I loved about my childhood was the proliferation of critters we had around the place; too many cats to count, horses, an occasional pig and of course, dairy cows and calves. But my favorite farm animal was always our dog.
The first dog I can remember was “Angel,” a white German Shepherd. Next came our little sweetheart collie-shepherd mix, “Schatzy” and the dog we had when I left for college was “BooBoo,” an Australian Cattle Dog or also known as a Blue Heeler. BooBoo came from a cattle ranch out west. My dad brought him home from a hunting trip when he was a barely 6 week old puppy because his mamma was such an amazing cattle dog.
Our dogs were never considered pets, my dad would not allow them in the house and I can’t ever remember giving them a bath or having them groomed. They were workers, hired help that earned their keep by herding cows into the parlour at milking time and chasing calves up from the pasture when it was time to put them in the shed at the end of the day. Our dogs were serious herding dogs.
My brother, who still lives on our farm, carries on this tradition with Rex’s Australian Shepherds, as he trains and shows Aussies in field trials. Belle, the seven week old puppy above and Moe, his national champion cattle dog, both play and practice herding in the same pasture where I chased calves as a kid.
AGCO knows what a valuable partner farm dogs are; they are loyal and quick to lend a helping hand, er… paw. Farm dogs, like all dogs, are always happy to see you, but then they quickly get to work, serious and anxious to do their job. In honor of farm dogs everywhere, we are proud to announce the latest in our ongoing series of contests for our friends and fans. And this one you can invite ALL your farm friends to get involved. As we do with all our contests, friends and fans will be invited to vote on the winning picture. But in an effort to encourage more entries and reach out to the entire agriculture community, we are waiving the requirement to have AGCO product in the picture. Let’s pay tribute to our hard working farm dogs by entering them in AGCO’s Farm Dog Photo Contest by clicking here. You could even win a Kodak Zi8 camcorder!
What do you like best about your Farm Dog? Will you enter the Photo Contest?
Does your tractor use SCR technology?