Archive for May, 2012

AGWN Kicks Off in Australia

As part of a worldwide AGCO initiative, AGWN (AGCO Global Women’s Network) was officially launched in Australia last month.


AGWN is a women’s network established for the staff of AGCO, designed to support the women within the organisation, in achieving their professional goals through development and career advancement.


Up to 20 staff members from the Sunshine office were introduced to the initiative by Warwick McCormick (Vice President & Managing Director, ANZ & FE), Luke Harrop (HR Manager, ANZ & Far East) and Linn Warzelhan (Director HR, APAC) in a two hour information seminar, which highlighted the program and provided updates on worldwide AGWN programs. A thorough interactive exercise was also run by Linn, who is also part of the AGWN Steering Committee, in regards to the women working at AGCO, providing staff with the opportunity to suggest activities that may support women in their career growth at the company.

Further to this event, a number of AGCO staff attended the first “Outstanding Women’s Series Breakfast” in March, presented by the Australian Institute of Management. More of these breakfasts will be attended to by AGCO staff throughout 2012, providing insight into some of the most successful career women in the country.

A local committee will now be established to drive the initiatives that were discussed at the launch.

“This is a great opportunity for AGCO staff to give their suggestions on how to improve the professional roles of women within the company,” says Luke. “By having a large number of both women and men attendees at the launch, across all departments of the company, it provided a positive environment for staff to make their suggestions.”

Safe Play Areas on Your Farm

Children are naturally curious, especially younger children. And there are a lot of things to be curious about on the farm! But that curiosity can unknowingly lead them into dangerous places. A safe play area is a great way to ensure the safety of kids on the farm. Here are a few tips to help you establish a safe play area.

• Separated from traffic and work areas.

• Easily identifiable boundaries. Fences are ideal.

• An area easily supervised, such as looking out a back window.

• Free from dangerous debris.

• Plenty of room to run and explore.

• Safe and age-appropriate play equipment.

A fence provides a terrific boundary for safe play areas. Ron and Arianne Henry of Versailles, Ohio won a $250 Successful Farming Farm Family grant to help cover the costs. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids awards $250 to ten farm families to conduct safety projects on their farm. Email Shari Burgus, education director for more information.

If you can’t fence the play area, use landmarks: a tree, a bush, a pole, a driveway. Walk the boundary with your children. Explain the boundary is important because it keeps them safe, and go over any consequences of breaking the boundary rule. Keep in mind the boundary is only the first line of defense. Supervision is critical, and not just for play areas without a fence.


Give children reasons to stay in the identified play area. Provide appropriate play items, such as swings, a sand box, or playhouse, which make the play area appealing to children. If the farmstead is more enticing than the designated play area, your efforts may not be effective.

A safe outdoor play area away from livestock, traffic and machinery is essential for children to grow up safe and healthy on a farm or ranch. Let’s keep our next generation of rural children safe!

For more information on farm safety, or to learn how to start a chapter,
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids


Big Red Event Shares MF Expertise

Massey Ferguson distributors and dealers from all over Europe converged on Wroclaw, Poland for the latest Big Red training event.

“This major event is a key opportunity for our dealer sales people to test-drive our latest tractors in the field and benefit from the know-how of MF technical experts,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Brand Development Manager. “Here, they can drive the machines in real conditions and fully understand the customer experience.”

Among the machines showing their paces were the new MF 7600 Series, MF 6400 Series and MF 3600 Series tractors.

“Wherever you are in Europe, you are never far away from a Massey Ferguson dealer,” adds Campbell. “Through training events like this and our many other dealer programmes, we are continuously updating them on the latest developments in our products to ensure they provide the very highest standards of service to our customers.”

Connectivity in the Field – Bluetooth or WiFi?

Do you ever have issues with your Bluetooth head set not getting the best reception, even though your phone is in your pocket?!? Have you ever had your smart phone run out of batteries before your day is over? Are you worried about other people accessing information you are transmitting between your devices via Bluetooth or Wifi? Below you will find  Pros and Cons of the two different ways for devices to communicate with each other.

For wireless machine to machine communication – Bluetooth is the easiest and least expensive way for seamless communication. Bluetooth is secure as you have to “pair” the devices before they can communicate with each other. Bluetooth also takes up less energy to connect, thus saving a little more battery life on your smartphone. It is restrictive in distance, 10 meters, which is great for driving your pick up down the road, but what about combines communicating with each other in the field? Bluetooth has been around since 1994 and recently has been making leaps in bounds for stronger wireless communication.

Wireless Fidelity a.k.a Wi-Fi is available at almost every street corner, rural café, and truck repair shop. Does Wi-Fi have a chance in taking over what Bluetooth has been building on for almost 20 years? Wi-Fi was introduced 3 years before Bluetooth, but began with different use cases. Wi-Fi is more complex than Bluetooth and requires configuration of hardware and software, Wi-Fi will also soak up more of your precious battery life. Both communicate over a 2.4 GHz frequency level; Wi-Fi is more expensive but can also communicate of distances up to 100 meters. Have you thought of using Wi-Fi for a connection between two devices, but not for the internet? With a few extra steps, this could be the answer to your problems of needing a longer distance base for wireless communication.

Can you see yourself wanting your machines in the field to communicate with each other? Would you prefer to use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi? WHY?!?

The World’s Longest Yacht Race – Heather’s Update 5

Heating up on deck … And I thought Georgia was hot!!!

Today, the wind has seemed to stop. Clipper has turned into an inch-a-thon. The water state is quite calm, with very little movement. At least we can see that we’re not alone, and it helps to feel like we’re still racing when we can see the competition just a couple miles away…even if we’re not exactly speeding along.

No wind up top means no air circulation down below. The heat is quite stifling and it is hard to think. I lie in my bunk and just sweat. And this is just the beginning! On deck we have to take turns with the various tasks as they are rarely in the shade and some of us are more prone to burn than to tan…

It is quite difficult to function in the heat. It makes the tasks all the more difficult.

We are learning to cope with things that are outside of our control and make the best of the situation. Thankfully, attitudes of the crew are still positive. I know that can be difficult in extreme situations (and heat), and it makes me very thankful for the people we have on board.

PS: I did get to see a whale! …or at least a tail and a spout. Success.