Archive for November, 2012
Reid Hamre, who leads Fendt brand marketing efforts for North America at AGCO in Duluth, Ga., was recently recognized by the National FFA Organization and awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest Honorary Degree. Reid was chosen because of his dedication to enhancing the partnership between AGCO and FFA, and for his support of agricultural education across the country. He received his Honorary American FFA Degree during the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo Oct. 24-27, 2012 in Indianapolis.
Reid has been integral in growing AGCO’s relationship with FFA and played a key role in the development of the AGCO Dealer Scholarship program, which provides college scholarships for FFA members nationwide. Now in its second year, the new AGCO dealer scholarships added an additional $115,000 of annual support to the National FFA Scholarship Program. In addition to scholarships, Reid has worked to grow AGCO’s presence at the National FFA Convention and Expo, allowing more interaction between FFA members and AGCO employees.
Reid’s award is even more meaningful, as the nomination came directly from the National FFA Foundation. His national nomination is a testament to Reid’s involvement at an organization-wide level. Ryan Tate, senior regional director at the National FFA Foundation, had this to say about Reid:
“Reid has worked diligently to help FFA engage with AGCO employees. These efforts have broadened our visibility within the company and led to some unique opportunities for additional support from year to year. Overall, Reid has been a great advocate for FFA at AGCO.”
This year, the National FFA Organization awarded 187 Honorary American FFA Degrees to non-teacher individuals across the country. The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students. The National FFA Organization works to enhance the lives of youth through agricultural education. Without the dedication of individuals such as Reid, thousands of young people would not be able to achieve the high level of success that the National FFA Organization helps them reach.
Congratulations, Reid, and thank you for all your hard work!
This week we asked our customers, fans, and friends to become guest bloggers and share their stories about growing up on the farm. We want to thank Elias A. for his wonderful story and hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
In my childhood, as I started to understand everything around me, I realized that my father had a very unique occupation as a farmer, working on his own private commercial farm. By the time I was ten years old, I began to help him on the farm after school. This opportunity gave me a chance to know what growing up on the farm really means. Growing plants and crops on the farm necessitates serious commitment and follow up -beginning from the nursery throughout the plants’ maturity- in order to get a high quality product. Growing plants is not as easy as it may seem. It takes great mastery of nature and an understanding of nurture to be a successful farmer. The way we take care of plants is very similar to what parents do for their babies.When I was younger, my chores consisted of going to the farm field every day after school to watch and learn how my father worked and the methods he used. Sometimes when my father was out, I would check on everything and report to him whatever the employees did in their day’s work.Eventually, after sufficient practice, I began working on our diesel water pumps and providing mechanical services as a trouble-shooter, after learning from my dad. Now, I am capable of providing full-mechanical services to any type of diesel water pump. In addition, I have some experience with crop protection, but I was not officially trained in either of these skill sets. When I attended school, it was my dream to specialize in mechanical engineering, but this ambition was unfortunately halted by the death of my father when I was seventeen. Instead of continuing my education, I was forced to take responsibility of my family, with my little brother.
Now as a farmer, I can say that growing fresh tomatoes is true joy of mine. I appreciate the opportunity to share my “growing up on the farm” story with you.
This week we asked our customers, fans, and friends to become guest bloggers and share their stories about growing up on the farm. We want to thank Aileen W. for her wonderful story and hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
When I was 5 years old, my parents moved from working at a plant nursery in Western Oregon to a mid-sized dairy farm in south-eastern Washington State. We moved into a tiny Craftsman-style house that was surrounded on three sides by Holstein heifers. The heifers were grouped by age, so all the animals in each pen were similar in size. It was so much fun to go out into the yard and watch them watch me!
Since we lived on the dairy farm, I could ride my bike to see the animals any time I wanted to. As I got older, my favorite place to be was in the calf barn. I remember setting my alarm clock for 3:30 a.m. on school mornings so I could get up and go help feed the calves before I headed to school at 8 o’clock.
The farm’s manager, Mr. Kenny, lived just up the road from us and his youngest daughter was only three years older than me. Mr. Kenny was wonderful about teaching us farm kids (any interested children of the employees was included in this group) about Holsteins and about dairy animals in general.
As each youngster turned 10, Mr. Kenny allowed him or her to choose (with his guidance, of course) a young calf to take care of and train to be a show animal. Oh, I could hardly wait until I turned 10. I remember the summer I was 9, I finally got up my courage to go ask if I might be ready for a calf. He thought long and hard before deciding I should wait one more year. He suggested that I shadow one of the older kids and watch what she did with her calf and learn a little more about the animals. Then I would be ready, he said!
I spent every waking moment that I wasn’t in school following the older girl around. I’m pretty sure I was pesky with all my questions and wanting to help, but she was very patient and allowed me to be her assistant that summer.
The next year, when I was 10, I got to pick my very own calf (not to keep, but to feed and train). Mr. Kenny showed me three calves and asked me to choose which one I liked the best. That was easy! I chose #416. She was mostly black, but had a small white star in the middle of her forehead.
Then, mysteriously, Mr. Kenny instructed, “Okay, now come with me.” We walked straight to the farm office where he took the registration application for the calf and asked me what I wanted to name her. What a privilege! Getting to give the calf her permanent name. I knew immediately what her name would be: Ginger! Oh, I loved that calf! I fed her, trained her to lead by walking her all around the farm every single day, and faithfully practiced the show ring routine, me walking backwards slowly and carefully, eyes following the judge, not my calf. Mr. Kenny would scrutinize my efforts and he was never timid about calling to my attention corrections I needed to make.
When the time came for the show, I was up at 3 a.m., helping to load Ginger into the big livestock trailer (along with the other animals, all the tack and the supply of hay, grain, and beet pulp). Mr. Kenny and our group hopped into the dairy’s finest pickup, a robins-egg-blue 1968 International, for the long ride to the Black and White Show, 100 miles from home.
Ginger and I won a blue ribbon at that show. I was dressed in my whites. Ginger was freshly washed, tail fluffed, food and water in her tummy. Both of us were smiling from ear-to-ear! It was a landmark day for a 10-year-old farm girl and her calf! It was also the magic moment when I knew, without a doubt, that just like on Green Acres, “Farm livin’ is the life for me!”
AGCO opened its expanded manufacturing facility and Intivity Center in June with a two-day Grand Opening celebration. Since that event, farmers from across the Midwest and around the globe have been touring AGCO’s 75,000-square-foot tractor manufacturing line and taking in the exhibits within Intivity Center, the company’s new 17,000-square-foot visitors’ center. More than 2,700 people have toured the Jackson, Minn., facility since it opened to the public.
“We built this new plant in Jackson because we wanted to give our dealers and their customers the opportunity to see our workmanship,” says Steve Koep, Vice President of Sales, AGCO North America. Koep goes on to say that this straight-line-configured manufacturing line, with its four quality-gate inspection points and high-tech automated quality-control systems, demonstrates to farmers the attention to detail that goes into every product. The line is spacious, and the progress of each tractor is visible on the overhead LCD monitors throughout the process. The assembly team members and customers can read on the screens what is being built, the stage of production it is in, and even for whom the Massey Ferguson or Challenger tractor is being built.
For more information on how to schedule your Intivity Center tour.