Archive for February, 2013
The AGCO marketing team for Australia and New Zealand recently visited the Mazaris property in Werribee South, Australia, to get a better understanding of how Massey Ferguson has evolved alongside farmers.
The productive region is a tightly knit community only a short distance from the populous Melbourne, with furrows of vegetables growing to the roads edge, rich soil and good irrigation networks. The area supplies around 70% of lettuces consumed in Australia and has experienced adaption and change brought about through drought and tight market conditions.
Settling in the area in the 1930’s, Great Grand Father Mazaris purchased a Fergie to assist in tilling and to borrow an old cliche, the rest is history. Through four generations, the Mazaris’ have continued their connection with Massey Ferguson. The horsepower of their most recent purchase, the MF 7495, allows for deeper tilling and increased speed while maintaining greater fuel efficiencies. The evolution of MF tractor technology is increasingly important on the Mazaris property as the cost of diesel inputs outstrip produce prices
The ability to do more with less looks likely to continue the Mazaris and Massey Ferguson connection for another generation to come.
As a group, those who work in agriculture are some of the most generous people on the planet. It’s that spirit we salute here, noting several extraordinary people and their stories of sacrifice and perseverance.
From those who travel to distant lands to assist people less fortunate to those who work in their own community, each person profiled here said they helped themselves while helping others.
They used words and phrases such as “rewarding” and “got way more out than I put in” to describe their own experiences. As you’ll see, their humility is as awesome as their generosity.
Below is the story of two such generous farmers from the story “Doing Good,” from the Winter 2012 issue of FarmLife.
Bill Troxel & Kristie Lee
As a Teenager, Bill Troxel would occasionally help customers pay off their grocery tab in the store where he worked. “I’d finish paying for their bill instead of making them put stuff back,” he recalls. “It’s just something I kind of get into.”
Troxel not only gets into it, he’s made giving a habit and something of an art form. Since those days working as a clerk and assistant manager in his hometown grocery store, Troxel has also given backpacks to area schoolchildren, helped fund scholarships and donated to FFA. He’s also given away gift cards via a local radio station, but with a twist: Those who won the cards had to, in turn, give them away to someone in need. And he spent some $13,000 of his own money in 2010 to help give 200 families a Thanksgiving dinner.
“The need is always around us,” says Troxel, who’s farmed full-time since 1996 and now works about 3,000 acres on rented land as a custom operator. “But so many families have faced hardships in these tough times that we decided to provide a real dinner with turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, butter and pumpkin pie.” And that was only a partial menu. Each dinner also included ham, carrots, stuffing, milk and more—enough to feed up to 15 people.
The original idea was to help 155 families, a figure that represents the average number of people each U.S. farmer is estimated to feed. So, Troxel and his girlfriend, Kristie Lee, reviewed nominations for and applications from those wanting to receive meals. The only information needed for the review was why a family or individual should be a recipient. Some were awarded meals because they were single parents; one family had recently suffered through a fire; a few were senior citizens; and some were nominated for time they committed to helping others.
“It quickly became apparent,” Troxel says, “we couldn’t and didn’t want to stop at 155. We received help from other individuals and organizations, and ended up giving away 200 meals.”
There are many reasons he’s driven to do these kinds of good deeds, explains Troxel, who says he annually donates about 1% of his business’s total operating budget to charitable work. “The key thing is everybody needs a little help, and I guess my thought is to make the world a better place, you start in your own community. Eventually if you get enough people doing the right thing, it’ll kinda grow and get bigger, and more and more people will be helping more people.
“It’s about … helping people and just working together, living together,” Troxel continues, “and getting along and not trying to be the richest guy in the cemetery.”
To read about the other 7 folks featured in the FarmLife article “Doing Good,” as well as learn about what AGCO is doing to help others around the world, visit MyFarmLife.
Who in your community does exceptional charitable work?
More young Africans will be looking at a future in farming thanks to a catchy new song – ‘Youth in Agriculture’, written and performed by the MEGA Fame Foundation from Ghana.
Massey Ferguson is the first and only manufacturer in the industry to protect its new combines with an exclusive weatherproof cover during winter shipment.
All European combine harvesters delivered during the winter season are exposed to road salt spray. But, to protect its Breganze-built combines, Massey Ferguson is now using a tailor-made protective sleeve to prevent the high risk of weathering, rust, corrosion and subsequent damage from road salt.
The protective sheets enclose the entire body of the combine, completely shielding the machine from potential harm. This ensures customers and dealers receive machines in exactly the same high quality condition as when they leave the factory. Also, importantly, the combines do not have to undergo an extensive cleaning and ‘dewaxing’ process before they are delivered to customers.
AGCO is the first farm machinery manufacturer to employ this technology in its advanced European Harvesting Operations facility in Breganze, Italy. It’s the same protection process that is more commonly used during delivery of luxury cars.
“We have sought out, developed and implemented the highest standards of product protection that the market can offer,” says Francesco Quaranta, Vice President and General Manager Harvesting. “We looked at other winter protection methods, but only full machine coverage provides the complete protection that our customers expect. Each one of our combine harvesters needs to reach its customer with the same high quality, regardless of the weather and road conditions during delivery.”
This, once again, shows AGCO’s commitment to customers by investing in the highest quality throughout the entire manufacturing process – beginning with carefully choosing suppliers right through to this unique protection during delivery.
From this winter, the covers are being fitted to all combine harvesters shipped from Breganze and destined for markets where there is a risk of encountering road salt. The covers will be used for as long as winter road conditions persist in those regions, even if they are not apparent at the time of machine loading. AGCO will work together with freight companies to assess the road conditions throughout the spring to ensure that covers are fitted until conditions improve.
“Each cover is tailor made to fit individual combine models,” says Axel Schoefer, Forecasting and Planning Manager, who has also managed the implementation of the combine covers project. “The two-part cover on each machine is applied carefully during the machine loading process, with special tie-down openings, which seal around the chains and straps used to secure the combine on the truck during transport. The top cover may be used after shipment, to further protect the machine from dirt and weather until final delivery to the customer – but it’s not a substitute for appropriate machinery winter storage.”
AGCO announced this week that Nina Pathy, AGCO Director, Global Parts Data and Parts Books and Tammie Nelson, AGCO Welding Technician, CWS, were recognized by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, University of Phoenix and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers with a Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award for their excellence and leadership in manufacturing. Ms. Pathy and Ms. Nelson join 120 other woman honorees, representing all levels of manufacturing from the factory floor to the C Suite.
“We are very pleased that Nina and Tammie’s contributions to AGCO were recognized by this important new initiative,” said Lucinda Smith, AGCO SVP Human Resources. “The STEP program supports the same core values as our AGCO Global Women’s Network (AGWN). AGWN is a business advisory group within AGCO set to develop, promote and advocate women as leaders and growers of profitability, collaboration and a diverse culture across AGCO. These two women are shining examples of what we are setting out to promote.”
“These 122 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. “We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.”
The STEP Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative launched by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, University of Phoenix, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and best practices for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent.
“The STEP Ahead initiative was founded to change perceptions of the manufacturing industry and create new opportunities for women in the sector,” said Latondra Newton, group vice president at Toyota Motor North America, Inc. and chairwoman of the STEP Ahead initiative. “This initiative is the call for action to transform the face of today’s manufacturing talent and ensure that women can contribute to the future of this industry.”
Congratulations to Nina and Tammie!