Archive for December, 2013
Tommy Porter chokes up when he talks about the land. As he tops a hill, he leans on a young oak tree. Eyes misting. Cheeks flushing. Spring green hay fields and cattle pastures roll out behind him.
Porter owns these 600 acres and another 308 down the road. He raises beef cattle, poultry and hogs, but he subscribes to the belief that he’s a borrower, a steward.
“The bank and I may hold this property, but we’re here for a short time,” he says.
“To be able to tend to part of God’s creation, that means something to me.”
Just 30 miles to the southwest sits the glass-and-steel, corporate skyline of Charlotte. It’s North Carolina’s largest, most metropolitan city. Here on the outskirts of the town of Concord, however, Porter has carved out his peace.
By the late 1970s, he and his wife Vicki were ready to chase the dream and started their cattle herd with five cows. In the mid-1980s, they bought 200 acres of corn and soybeans, and converted them to pasture.
In 30-plus years, they have grown the herd to 350 Hereford-Angus cows and calves. Along the way, Porter invested in the chicken business, expanding that operation to 68,000 broiler pullets and 30,000 broiler egg layers for Tyson Foods. The third leg of the livestock operation includes 2,200 large, white sows that breed between 102 and 105 pigs per week for Murphy-Brown.
Porter’s family has been a large part of his farm’s success. Growing up, his sons, Derek and Jared, and his daughter, Erin, performed daily chores and remained interested in the farm. Even though they’ve all got other full-time careers these days, Derek, a firefighter, still works the farm on his days off. And Jared’s wife, Colleen, now manages the layer houses.
“Tommy started with a dream,” says Chip Blalock, executive director of Sunbelt Ag Expo. “He didn’t inherit anything. He did it all the old fashioned way from scratch.” Judges considered the scope of Porter’s success a major factor when naming him the 2011 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year.
Part of Porter’s award as Farmer of the Year included the year-long use of any Massey Ferguson tractor serviced by Statesville Ag and Turf. He says he selected the MF5465 for its size. The 100 pto horsepower is the perfect fit for spreading fertilizer on his hay fields, then cutting and baling it when the time is right.
“It’s nice and roomy,” says Tommy, which is no surprise considering it has one of the largest cabs in its class. And the 61 square feet of glass translates to an immense amount of visibility. Another feature they really love is that the cab has its own suspension. “It makes a big difference when you spend 8 or 10 hours riding in something that’s comfortable,” says Tommy.
With one hand, they can move smoothly through the gears of the clutchless Dyna 4, 16-speed transmission. And because the environment, and quite frankly the economy, are so important to the Porters, the AGCO Power engine, with exceptional fuel economy and low emissions, makes a great deal of sense.
Because in the past there were no large Massey Ferguson dealers near the Porters, their farm has used John Deere equipment. But this honeymoon period with the MF5465 has made a believer of Derek, who uses it the most.
“Every time he uses it,” says Tommy, “he makes a point to say, ‘I really like that tractor. I like it better than the John Deere.’”
Fuse Technologies Strategy Presented to Massey Ferguson And Valtra Dealers as Part of South America Launch
By Rafael Antonio Costa
AGCO’s South American Massey Ferguson and Valtra Dealers gathered recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Salvador, Brazil, for a comprehensive look at FuseTM Technologies: AGCO’s global precision farming technology strategy to provide farmers with seamless integration and connectivity across their operations. By taking a more open approach to incorporating technology across the industry, Fuse will lead the way in providing solutions for the mixed fleet, multi partner farms of tomorrow. Fuse provides new tools that allow the farmer to do this efficiently and effectively.
The Fuse message resonated with the South America dealers because there is arguably more coordination of machines in this region than anywhere else in the world. The capabilities Fuse Technologies is deploying over the next several years will ensure the machines are “talking” to each other, allowing the farmer to strip out the waste during the farming process.
Leading the way in the efforts to communicate the strategy, and enhancing the dealer’s knowledge base, is AGCO South America’s Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) Product Marketing Manager, Rafael Antonio Costa. Rafael was pleased with the number of dealers that attended the events—approximately 650 total—and the response to the Fuse Technologies strategy:
“The South American Fuse Technologies launches were very well received, and set the stage for what is to come in the next 3-5 years for AGCO’s dealers and customers. It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm after the initial presentation, and the conversation that was generated as a result of the launch. The dealer network in South America is professional and knowable of the technology solutions available to our customers. This is imperative as we keep our farmers moving forward with new and innovative technologies.”
This recent dealer training reflects AGCO’s commitment to and global emphasis on precision farming technology, recently launched as Fuse™ Technologies. To learn more about AGCO’s on and off board technologies and the Fuse Technologies strategy, visit http://www.agcocorp.com/products/precision_farming.aspx.
Three new telescopic handlers in the MF 9000 Xtra Series from Massey Ferguson make their debut at the Agritechnica Show in Hannover on 11th to 16th November. All are powered by new Stage 3b/Tier 4 interim compliant engines and feature a new multi-function joystick option, which allows operators to control the transmission without removing their left hand from the steering wheel.
These new models build on the success of the MF 9000 Series, which introduced the best visibility on the market through a unique curved rear screen. The new MF 9000 Series Xtra models remain compact, agile and manoeuvrable machines that sit on a short, wide chassis, which provides exceptional stability, while the laterally, side-mounted engine offers great access for service.
MF 9000 Xtra Series telescopic handler features
All models powered by latest 3.6 litre, four cylinder engines that employ efficient, straightforward technology to meet the latest exhaust emission regulations
New joystick option allows operators to control the transmission without removing left hand from the steering wheel
Unique and patented curved rear window provides unrivalled, industry-leading visibility to the rear right three quarters, with no cab post to obstruct the view
Short, wide chassis combines the benefits of superb stability with exceptional manoeuvrability from standard four-wheel steer system. Four-speed hydrostatic transmission provides a true 40km/hr top road speed. Ability to fit wide tyres to all models
Novel boom configuration with low rear pivot point for a clear view of the rear right-hand side; up to 190 litres/min closed centre load sensing (CCLS) hydraulics with fully proportional joystick control boom suspension option.
As a group, those who work in agriculture are some of the most generous people on the planet. We’re simply hardwired to help neighbors and strangers alike.
It’s that spirit we salute here in this special feature, noting several extraordinary people and their stories of sacrifice and perseverance. Very special people who 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.
To be sure, the acts of kindness detailed in the stories linked below serve as inspiration for all of us to help make the world a better, more livable place. At AGCO, we hear that call too, working with groups here in North America, like FFA, and people abroad—those in Africa with whom we’re working to build a more sustainable agricultural infrastructure.
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. Here then are their stories:
Rick Gray: This Massey Ferguson dealership executive is planting seeds.
Dee Doolittle: Caring for “retired” horses at Mitchell Farm.
Bill Troxel and Kristie Lee: Bill Troxel has turned giving into an art form.
John and Jean Partington: The Partingtons give of their time and effort at home and abroad.
John Varty and Molly Daley: Educating the populace about the realities of farming.
Gay Wagner: For Wagner, it’s all about the kids in his hometown.
David Diehl: A Montana farmer overcame huge obstacles and now helps others do the same.
From AGCO, A Helping Hand: AGCO Corporation and its employees give time and money for causes around the world.
We wish we could’ve featured more such generous people in this story. We know you’re out there. So, to all of you who offer a helping hand in acts simple and grand, we say thanks for every burden you’ve lifted and smile you’ve brought to another’s face.
Once again, the Agritechnica 2013 is an exhibition that sets new records. On 420,000 square metres, the entire industry presented itself to some 450,000 visitors to the world’s leading agricultural equipment and machinery exhibition. The exhibition not only set a new record in terms of the number of visitors, but also for exhibitors as well as in its internationality. For the first time, all 27 exhibition halls were occupied with 2,900 exhibitors from 47 countries. The exhibition was therefore fully booked. And accordingly there were crowds of visitors at the Fendt stand in Hall 9, where the premium brand and trend-setter in agricultural engineering presented its new innovations in the areas of tractors, combines and balers.
“There was a very positive atmosphere here at our stand. The agricultural industry is currently in a stable economic environment, so that we were able to conduct excellent, concrete talks here with our customers and dealers,” summed up Peter-Josef Paffen, Vice President and Chairman of the AGCO/Fendt Management Board. This impression is substantiated by the DLG exhibitor survey. Seventy percent of the farming and forestry enterprises said they plan to invest in the next two years. “We already reached our sales target of 18,000 tractors before the Agritechnica. Here at the exhibition we are already talking about orders for the upcoming year. Thanks to our new factory, we are ready to deliver and also aim to attain these high sales figures in 2014. The Agritechnica has given us the right impetus and tailwind for this,” said Paffen.
Fendt presented its complete line-up – from the 200 V/F/P specialty tractor range with 70 hp to the 939 Vario with 390 hp – on 2,550 square metres within the 7,200-square metre AGCO stand in Hanover. There was an especially high interest in the innovations. Under the motto “Experience Fendt. Making things happen.”, Fendt presented new high-horsepower machines in all areas this year. The new 800 and 900 Vario high-horsepower tractors convinced visitors with a number of new technical innovations, such as the integral tyre pressure regulation system VarioGrip. Fendt also presented the new combines from the Fendt X-Series with hybrid technology and the most powerful Fendt of all times – the Fendt Katana 85 forage harvester with 850 hp. “The demand for Fendt harvesting machinery is climbing noticeably. Today we also offer high-quality products in this area,” commented Paffen. The topic of precision farming was presented at both the Variotronic and the AGCO Fuse stands. In this area, Fendt now also offers SectionControl and the AGCOMMAND telemetry system. On the basis of the Fendt X Concept, visitors were able to get a first impression of the direction development in agricultural engineering will take regarding electrical drives for tractors.
Innovative technology is rewarded with awards. Fendt received the silver medal from the DLG for its new flat-sealing hydraulic coupling system. The “Machine of the Year” was awarded to the Fendt 516 Vario for tractors and the new 9490X for combines. Fendt also received the official DLG test mark for the VarioGuide RTK automated steering. “Of course, it is a great pleasure to reap awards. However, it is important to us that we bring innovations onto the market that provide real benefits for our customers and take all of their requirements for practical use into consideration. The new hydraulic coupling system is an excellent example for this, because it enables farms to convert to modern hydraulic systems flexibly, step by step, and there are no oil leaks during handling,” added the Chairman of the AGCO/Fendt Management Board.
At the Agritechnica, AGCO/Fendt finds the ideal environment to present its new technologies. “The Agritechnica is an innovation driver and provider of ideas for global agriculture and has impressively demonstrated the growing worldwide significance of farming and agricultural engineering,” explained Dr. Reinhard Grankdke, The share of visitors from outside of Germany is continually climbing, in 2013 every fourth visitor came from abroad – a new peak. “In Hanover, we meet our customers from many different countries. These included investors from Central and Eastern Europe as well as large groups from North America, who we gave a better understanding of our latest technology. We took this as an opportunity to gear up our exhibited machines accordingly and presented a 724 Vario with row crop tyres for the North American market for the first time at our stand. Overall, it was an excellent mix of expert farmers and entrepreneurs, which is becoming increasingly more international,” explains Peter-Josef Paffen. Hall 9, where the AGCO Corporation with Fendt and its other brands was found at the Agritechnica, proved to be a true magnet for visitors. The Fendt stand was one of the best visited stands over all the exhibition days. “With a team of more than 150 employees from Marketing and Sales, we were there for our customers at the Agritechnica and are pleased with the high-level conversations and the great resonance our brand found with customers,” summed up Paffen.