Written by: Joy Jelimo Chelagat, 2014 AGCO Africa Ambassador
On the 15th of January at 5:00 am in the morning I drove to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on my trip to Berlin, Germany. Just five months before I had seen a competition online for an ambassadorship opportunity. Having only a week to the deadline, I was pretty sure that my chances were slim, but I decided to apply anyway.
To my surprise, the AGCO team got in contact with me. A few Skype interviews later I was informed that I could represent Africa at the annual AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin. Two months passed by fast and I was aboard a plane heading to Germany. The trip was long and the weather was a stark difference from the sunny Nairobi climes, but the warm welcome of the team in the Adlon Hotel made me feel at home.
The day after I arrived I hit the ground running. I had a meeting with a team of AGCO people to prepare for the activities scheduled. It was only our first meeting yet they were very friendly and resourceful. I also met Sue Musunga Chuzu, who was the first AGCO Africa Ambassador and who works now as Marketing Services Specialist at AGCO in Zambia. She shared her experiences with me and gave me some presentation tips for moderating the conference.
Agriculture is Universal
One of my tasks as Africa Ambassador was to represent AGCO at the International Green Week fair. The “Grüne Woche”, as the Germans call it, is an agricultural trade show that attracts exhibitors from around the world. Together with Marco Prehn, Sahra Malin, Sue Chuzu and Philip De Leon from AGCO we talked to numerous people about what the company is doing in Africa. One thing was evident during the fair: agriculture is a global concern. Even though the visitors and exhibitors were from far flung corners of the globe, they all came together in one place for once cause: agriculture.
The night before the AGCO Africa Summit we had an exclusive dinner with the conference‘s speakers and the top brass of the AGCO team. The room was full of exceptional people who had done great things for the African continent. From the conversations we had that evening, I could tell that the summit would be full of wonderful insights. As I woke up that Monday I was fully charged for the conference.
Walking into the conference hall, the excitement was palpable. You could see crowds of people huddled together immersed in conversation. You could spot top decision makers of key sectors of the agricultural industry. As the program kicked off, I was slightly nervous but as we moved along I eased up. Each speaker rose to the podium with wonderful ideas about the improvement of the agriculture industry in Kenya and on the African continent.
The speakers and panelists talked about their activities in Africa and about what they plan to do in days to come. Robert Sichinga, Agriculture Minister of Zambia, riled the crowd when he passionately explained why solutions to African agriculture have to be African. Another topic that got the audience excited was the appeal to make agriculture “sexy” for it to attract young people. Several speakers also emphasized the issue of innovation. Thus by the end of the full-day event I was more convinced than ever that agriculture is not only the present but also the future for Africa.
Yet, my trip was not all business. I had several opportunities to shop and tour the German capital. Berlin is a beautiful city with rich history: I visited the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the Holocaust memorial. Another highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet and make friends with remarkable people from all around the globe.
All in all, this journey was an inspirational and eye-opening experience. I was able to see how small-scale innovations in the field have a global impact on food security. The importance of efficient production, transportation and distribution was also brought home. At the end of the trip I felt charged to take up my role as AGCO Africa Ambassador for the year 2014.
Following the very successful Discover AGCO event held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK last month, AGCO’s Aftersales group made a presentation of £2,135.38 to the Air Ambulance Service based at Coventry Airport on Monday (24th March 2014). This magnificent sum was collected during a busy event with generous donations from the UK and Eire AGCO dealer network, AGCO staff, suppliers and the farmers who attended the show, with an equal amount raised for the British Heart Foundation.
The Air Ambulance is deemed very close to the hearts of most agricultural businesses, as many farmers and their families rely on the service to reach rural areas of the country. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) provide treatment on the scene of an incident, and a rapid means of transport to the hospital most suited to treat the casualty’s specific injuries and illnesses. They attend a variety of emergency rescues, including road traffic collisions, serious sporting injuries, severe burns, industrial accidents and any other medical incidents that require rapid response.
On average, the service attends six rescue missions every day, costing approximately £1,700 per mission. The state of the art Agusta helicopters can reach speeds of up to 200mph which means they can be at the emergency scene in less than ten minutes.
Yesterday we celebrated, and helped sponsor, National Ag Day 2014, the 41st anniversary of celebrating agriculture’s role in the world. Every spring, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and others join together in recognition and appreciation of the agriculture industry.
We’d like to take this time to express our deepest gratitude to the many men and women across the globe who make agriculture possible: THANK YOU!
How did you celebrate National Ag Day yesterday? We’d love to hear from you — please share your stories in the comments below.
Dairy farmers present at the 2014, Alltech Farm Innovation Series are interested in learning about nutrition analysis, agronomy and technical developments that can impact their ability to produce more and become more efficient in their dairy operations. The companies Alltech, Big Ass Solutions, AGCO and Farm Credit have partnered to bring experts from all fields to discuss the latest technology with Series participants.
AGCO National Accounts Sales Manager Russ Green discusses the AGCO’s Fuse Technologies strategy which is a commitment to customers to provide solutions that optimize, coordinate and seamlessly connect their equipment and their farm. It demonstrates that by giving growers the right tools, solutions and support, they can farm smarter. Our goal is to insure that our solutions enable producers to link machines and management for technical and agronomic decisions and actions. Examples of producer savings in performance were presented that could improve customer revenues up to $6,800 per day.
To learn more about these events and even attend one in your area this week, please visit: http://www.alltech.com/about/events/farm-innovation-series.
The RG700 self-propelled sprayer and Gleaner Super Series combines have been chosen as Agri Marketing magazine’s 2013 New Product of the Year and 2013 Product of the Year, respectively. AGCO is the first company in the 15-year history of the Agri Marketing product awards to take home both honors in a given year.
“Our panel of independent agriculture industry professionals chose these two innovative machines based on the value they provide to today’s farmers and the unique marketing approaches that have helped contribute to their success in our industry,” says Lynn Henderson, publisher of Agri Marketing. “The RG700 and Gleaner Super Series join a distinguished group of winners, all of which contribute to making growers more successful in producing feed, food and fiber for a growing world population.”
Agri Marketing’s 2013 New Product of the Year, the RG700 self-propelled sprayer, debuted this fall, proving the axiom that good things can come in small packages. The RG700 is a compact, 700-gallon tank machine that brings growers the benefits found in larger, professional-grade RoGator® sprayers.
The Tier 4 interim-compliant RG700 has an industry-leading AWD Smart Drive System™, even weight distribution and Parallel C-channel flex frame, providing consistent field speed without shifting, plus excellent traction with all four wheels remaining in constant contact with the ground. The result is a smooth ride and more precise product application, even under varying field conditions. Other key benefits include a powerful, yet fuel-efficient high-torque engine, adjustable track widths, and outstanding cab comfort and safety.
The Gleaner Super Series combine, Agri Marketing’s 2013 Product of the Year, was first introduced in 2010 with the S7 Super Series transverse rotary combine. Built to solve the challenges of greater yields, more residue, more acres and rising fuel costs, the S7 Super Series represented a large leap forward in harvesting capacity and efficiency, while reinforcing Gleaner’s reputation for durability, simplicity, low grain loss and very clean grain sample.
The new S8 Super Series, introduced in August 2013, takes harvesting technology even further — and includes the world’s first Class 8 transverse rotary combine. Built on the Optimum Harvesting Performance platform, the S8 Super Series is designed for ultimate efficiency and reduced parasitics. This drives horsepower to the rotor to process and thresh the crop, so growers can get more done while burning less fuel. The S8 Series features the lightest Class 6 through 8 combines on the market, and provides growers with unmatched grain quality and great throughput.
“We are incredibly honored that these products have been recognized for their innovation and value to agricultural producers,” says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “In 2007, AGCO began an era of significant investment in new-product research and development, driven by listening to the needs of our customers in the United States and Canada. The innovations these products deliver are a result of that investment, plus a lot of hard work. We’re proud these products provide producers with the solutions they need.”
Full details about the products and the marketing case studies behind them are available in the November/December issue of Agri Marketing magazine. For more information on the RG700, visit www.applylikeapro.com/RG700. For more information about Gleaner combines or to find a dealer near you, visit www.GleanerCombines.com.