Archive for June, 2011

DISCussions: Beloit, Kansas Hosts European Visitors

On 25 May 2011, AGCO Challenger dealers hosted nearly twenty customers from  Germany and Austria to a rain-soaked visitBeloit Visitors in Kansas, USA.  The visitors were part of the Challenger Tour 2011 to experience farming operations in the United States and see first-hand how AGCO farm equipment is produced.  After landing in Chicago, USA the group visited a farm in Iowa.  During their stopover in Minnesota they toured the AGCO Jackson facility. They spent the night in Kansas City, Kansas before arriving in Beloit.  A tour of AGCO Hesston and of a Wichita, Kansas grain elevator completed their North America journey.

The schedule of events in Beloit included a barbeque lunch, plant tour and farm visit.   As anyone knows who lives in, or regularly visits, the Plains States region, weather plays a large factor in outdoor activities.  This trip was no exception.

Beloit Visitors

Watching a computer-aided welding demonstration during plant tour.

The week prior, Kansas fields were dangerously dry.  On the day the guests were to be at a farm site, it was still raining from the previous stormy night.  Consequently, the barbeque was moved indoors and the plant tour took a little extra time.  Eventually, there was enough of a break in the rain to stop by one local farm west of Beloit.

The group was able to look at the machinery and “talk shop” comparing farming practices.

Engineering Manager, Rye DeGarmo had this to say, “the highlight of the trip was the farmer-to-farmer discussion.  Both the local and European farmers were interested in each others’ farming practices, especially yield amounts and fertilizer usage. Farmers from both continents were surprised to find the numbers of large farms are growing in a very similar fashion to their own — but on opposite sides of the world.”

What is considered a large farm where you live?

Valtra ANTS On Tour

A 1:5 model of Valtra’s visionary ANTS concept has been touring Europe since its introduction in January. After appearing at exhibitions in France, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, the next tour stops will take ANTS to Agrisjå in Norway (26-28 Aug),  Koneagria in Finland (19-22 Oct) and Agritechnica in Germany (13-19 Nov).

For more details about the ANTS tour visit There you can also download the new ANTS background pictures for your computer or mobile device.

AGCO Expands R&D Center in Marktoberdorf

The expansion doesn’t end in Jackson, Minnesota for AGCO. In fact, last month AGCO announced that the Board of Directors recently approved an expansion of capacity for the Research and Development Center at the Marktoberdorf, Germany Fendt operations.Fendt R&D Center

This involves erecting a new multi-story building on the grounds of the Research and Development Centre. An investment of approximately 2.6 million euros will create some 120 new jobs for engineers and electronic technicians, which will be filled through new hiring over the next two years. Then a total of approximately 400 employees will be working on new developments and advancements in tractors and forage harvesters at the Fendt Research and Development Centre.

Peter Paffen, Vice President and Spokesman for the AGCO/Fendt Management stated “the expansion of the development centre at the AGCO Marktoberdorf location allows us to take important future projects forward faster and better, so that we can maintain our reputation on the market as the trendsetter and leader in innovations. Our special focus lies on electronics, which will allow us to push forward with systems and automation.”

Learn more about Fendt tractors and agricultural equipment at

Have you ever visited AGCO’s Fendt factory in Marktoberdorf, Germany?

Lawn Mowing Safety

Growing up on a farm, I had a lot of chores but I was lucky enough not to have to mow our grass (my dad and uncle took care of that since I was so young). I actually never even got behind a lawn mower until I was in my twenties. Even though I was an adult with a pretty good head on my shoulders, my dad still took me though a long list of tips that I needed to know in order to safely operate our lawn mower. The following blog post was submitted from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids and addresses the importance of mowing safety:

Whether you live on the farm or in the city, you know that giving kids chores teaches them valuable lessons. Mowing the yard is often one of the first responsibilities given to youth. Putting a kid behind the controls of a lawn mower is no different than putting them in the driver’s seat of a tractor or car.Lawn Mower SAfety

Even though a lawn mower is smaller in size, the potential for injury is there. As such, lawn mowers need to be treated with the same respect.

Is your child ready to tackle mowing the lawn? If you answer yes to ALL of these questions, they might be ready for the job.

  • Can the youth reach the necessary controls without moving from the seat on a riding mower?
  • Does the youth have the physical strength to push a walk-behind mower?
  • Has the youth been trained in proper operation of the mower?
  • Does the youth know safety is the top priority?
  • Has the youth observed safe lawn mowing behavior by an adult?

If your child is ready, explain the dangers of flying objects and stress the importance of wearing long pants and sturdy shoes as well as eye and ear protection.

Teach safe operating procedures:

  • Mow across slopes when using a walk behind mower.
  • Mow up and down slopes when using a riding mower.
  • Mow dry grass.
  • Never point the discharge chute at anyone.
  • Never drive or push a running mower over gravel.
  • Shut off the engine before servicing.
  • Always fill the gas tank outside of any buildings and only when the engine is cool.
  • Keep the engine free of oil spills, grass, and leaves.

For more information about lawn mower safety, visit or call 1-800-423-5437.

How old were you when you first mowed the lawn? What tips did your parents share with you?

Editor’s Note: Massey Ferguson has grounds care equipment in some regions of the world, such as the UK. Take a look at the variety of products, including lawn mowers, offered at:

Jo Herian: DISCussions

“Toto, I’m not in Kansas anymore”.Jo Herian

It is amazing how this blog can take me from Kansas to the world — and bring the world to Kansas.  Glad you could stop by for a visit!  Contrary to popular belief, Kansas is not flat {a motorcycle out of gas will confirm that fact}; we like barbeque; and working hard/ playing hard is a way of life.

Wheat harvest is June when it’s hot and windy.  Beans and milo are cut in the fall around frosts, rains and snows.

And in the middle of it all is AGCO located in Beloit, Kansas with a satellite plant in Cawker City, Kansas.

AGCO Beloit’s website tells the plant’s history and details the Sunflower branded product lines.  This transplanted city girl has the privilege of visiting with you about the happenings at AGCO Beloit and the area farm community.

My name is Jo Herian and have worked at the Beloit plant over 20 years.  Please join me and let’s put some gravel in our travels.