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It’s All About Family

Big congratulations to Dave Turner, Service Technician at Massey Ferguson dealership Highwood’s, Somerset, UK. Dave has just celebrated an incredible fifty years as a Technician at the Yeovil Depot. In 1966 Dave graduated from college with a 1st Class certificate in Agricultural machinery, maintenance and repair and had the original certificates to show us. Dave had some fascinating stories to tell us, “Over fifty years you get to meet all kinds of Dave Turner _RTpeople and machinery” Dave told us, “I actually retired two years ago but I like to keep my hand in and my mind active. I remember how I used to race around the countryside with my colleague, Salesman Jim Tooze, he’d sell them and I’d support them. We were a proper double act.”

We asked Dave how life in the workshop differs now from fifty years ago, he explains, “The biggest difference over the years has been speed. Machinery has advanced so much and the pace of life has quickened. Customers need their equipment as soon as possible so we have to fix things quickly, there’s little downtime. It’s so important to retain driver and customer relations, it may put pressure on us but it’s all part of the service.

We asked Dave what he most enjoyed about the job, he tells us “It’s all about the people. I’ve been lucky, I’ve worked closely with dealers, customers and colleagues and all have supported me over the years. It really is an extended family working for Massey Ferguson, it’s all about family.”

Ben Manning, Group Aftersales Manager at Highwood’s comments “The modern professionalism of the manufacturer, dealership staff, customers and drivers have all impressed on Dave the move forward in agricultural engineering, it’s imperative that we have people like Dave working to meet our consistently high standards of support.”

Steve Ploughs Marathon 24-Hour Furrow

In an amazing feat of endurance, Lincolnshire farmer, Steve Smith drove an MF 6490 in a 24-hour Plough-a-thon to raise funds for the UK farming charity the Royal Agricultural benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I.).

mmrp-ploughathon landscape (2)Following a period of ill health in which he received support from the RABI, Steve vowed to do something special to raise money for the charity.

The challenge took place close to his home at Market Rasen and local landowner, Charles Jackson loaned the tractor and plough.

“The R.A.B.I. has been fantastic in helping both me and my brother who have worked hard on the land for most of our lives,” Steve commented. “I wanted to do something to give back to the charity and support other farming families in need.”

A presentation evening took place on 19 September, 7pm at The Nags Head in Market Rasen where Steve handed over a cheque to the R.A.B.I. He’s hoping that agricultural businesses and rural people will all get behind him to help swell the funds.

Anyone wishing to support him can donate online by visiting:

www.justgiving.com/24hrplough

MF Antarctica 2014 – The Birth of a New Generation of Explorer

Preparations for Antarctica 2014 from Massey Ferguson are progressing well. The MF 5600 tractor that ‘Tractor Lady’ Manon Ossevoort will drive to the South Pole in 2014 is built and currently being prepared for its arduous journey.

NewGeneration-TractorMama-1Staff at Massey Ferguson are also assembling a team of top specialists to support Manon and the MF 5600 tractor. These include top polar explorers, experienced expedition leaders, a highly trained tractor technician along with back up from other specialists.

“Massey Ferguson is very proud to be involved in this great adventure,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson’s Brand Development Manager. “The project is part of our heritage and follows in the tractor tracks of Sir Edmund Hillary, who completed the same journey on a Ferguson Tractor 55 years ago. It will be the 56th anniversary of that significant event when Manon’s MF 5600 reaches the South Pole in 2014.”

‘Tractor Lady’ Manon has undertaken polar training in Northern Canada as well as initial tractor testing on a glacier in Iceland, along with members of the MF team.

Manon said, “I am very excited about what we have achieved so far and how the project is proceeding. In recent months I have managed to keep quite a big secret – that is Tractor Lady is soon to become Tractor Mama! The birth of my baby is another whole new adventure for me personally. But I am really determined to complete the journey and finish the story I have been creating for the past nine years.”

Massey Ferguson is delighted with Manon’s special news, adds Mr Scott. “Naturally we share the joy of Manon and her partner, Rogier and send them every best wishes for the future and look forward to our continued progress towards the South Pole together,” he adds.

Get Ready For Red Tractor Week!

Red Tractor Week launches on Monday 16th September. Fronted by Alex James, musician and farmer, Red Tractor week is at the heart of the year round Trust The Tractor campaign. Watch out for the Red Tractor logo in your local supermarket or restaurant as the week is being supported far and wide by retailers, food service partners and of course, the most famous Red Tractor  – Massey Ferguson!

rt_rtw2013_banner_cmyk_v_1_1Red Tractor is all about food awareness and knowing where your food comes from. The Red Tractor logo on packs means your food or drink has met responsible production standards and is fully traceable back to independently inspected farms in the UK.

During the week, Red Tractor will be showing how food is assured from farm-to-fork via 7 real life farmer’s stories. Each day Red Tractor will be exploring a different farming sector (beef, lamb, poultry, pork, cereals, produce and dairy) so consumers can learn all about the quality foods available under the logo.

Food-wise, there will be a series of new and exclusive Red Tractor recipes, which showcase the best Red Tractor ingredients and the unveiling of a new map locator to help consumers find how accessible and easy to find Red Tractor is when eating out.

The Red Tractor logo is your short cut to food and drink that has been produced to strict standards of food safety, environmental protection, and animal welfare and with a clear guarantee of origin. Trust the Tractor is a national 12-month campaign that aims to maintain consumer trust in food by raising awareness of the assurance benefits that the Red Tractor logo provides.

Join Massey Ferguson in supporting this worthwhile campaign, which aims to highlight the importance of British farming. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook for latest news during the week and just simply look out for the Red Tractor logo!

Massey Ferguson Tractors Helping To Farm The Sea

A pair of Massey Ferguson tractors is helping specialist Anglesey sea-farming business, Menai Oysters and Mussels, process each year more than 70,000 oysters and five million mussels, all grown and cultivated naturally in the strong, nutrition-rich tidal currents of the Menai Strait.

Menai Oysters 04 web resThe majority of the company’s shellfish production is sent to wholesale markets for purchase by hotels, restaurants and specialist fish shops and retailers with a growing number of sales being made also via the internet, mail-order and direct to customers who visit Menai Oysters and Mussels’ shop on a Sunday or Wednesday.

Purchased in late 2012 from nearby MF dealer, Emyr Evans, the two Massey Ferguson tractors – a 38hp MF 1540A and a 102hp MF 5440 – are being employed primarily within the initial washing processes used to remove silt, sand and other seabed detritus from the shells of the harvested oysters and mussels.

Initial cleaning of the oysters is carried out in trays using a hand-held pressure washer fed with fresh water by a high-capacity pump mounted on and driven by the power take-off shaft of the MF 1540A tractor. When all of the oysters have been washed, the tractor is driven a short distance to the mussel processing line where its external hydraulic system is connected to pumps powering the Menai Oysters 05 web resequipment’s water delivery and conveyor systems, simultaneously washing and grading the mussels as they move along the line.

Having been cleaned off externally, the shellfish is either immersed in tanks or placed on racks for further cleaning by purification using continuously recirculating seawater that has been sterilised by UV light. Minimum purification time is 42 hours to ensure that the filter feeding mechanism of the bivalve molluscs has adequate time to filter-out grit, sand and other internal impurities.

All of the seawater used by Menai Oysters and Mussels within its various washing and purifying processes is transported from the sea shore to the farm in a 6,000 litre vacuum tanker hauled by the MF 5440 tractor, the water being held in large storage tanks until needed. The two and a half miles each-way journey to and from the sea shore is made two or three times a week, depending on the season and demand for the firm’s oysters and mussels, all of which are sold to customers within the United Kingdom.

“We use a lot of sea water for purifying the shellfish so the tractor has to be ready to go at a moment’s notice,” explained marine biologist Shaun Krijnen, who founded Menai Oysters and Mussels in 1994 and maintains a full hands-on role in the business today. “When it’s not involved in shellfish production, the MF 5440 tractor is used for hedge-cutting, pasture mowing and local contract work, helping out nearby arable and livestock farmers.”

Bought primarily to power the oyster and mussel washing equipment, the smaller MF 1540 compact tractor spends up to 40 hours a week stationary with its engine running and power take-off shaft turning at a constant 540rpm.

Menai Oysters 02 web res“The MF 1540 replaced a larger agricultural-type tractor, consequently cutting our diesel usage by half,” commented Shaun. “The new tractor’s power output and auxiliary oil flow are far better matched to our existing equipment so everything runs more smoothly and economically. Having a foldable rollbar instead of a cab means also that we can lock the tractor away securely overnight.”

The larger MF 5440 tractor arrived on the farm two months later, further modernising the firm’s machinery fleet while splitting the existing workload over two new power units.

“As the business has grown, we have looked increasingly to invest in modern, reliable, cost-effective equipment,” explained Shaun. “Massey Ferguson was the obvious choice for us. Not only is our local dealer just 15 minutes away but we are benefiting from the company’s Manager 5-year extended warranty and servicing package that brings peace of mind to a business that relies very heavily on its machinery throughout the year.”

www.menaioysters.co.uk