AGCO is proud to support the OIC International Youth Investment Summit: The Road to Economic Growth, held in Accra, Ghana last week.
At the event Louisa Parker, Manager Institutional Funding and Stakeholder Relations, Africa & Middle East, presented details of exclusive research that shows how young people are transforming agriculture across the world.
Commissioned by Massey Ferguson – AGCO’s global brand – the report highlights how a New Generation of young people is choosing farming as a career, because it offers a bright future. Young people’s enthusiasm, energy and optimism, says the report, is combined with a growing demand for food across the world. This open-minded New Generation is ready to embrace the opportunities that come their way.
The research also shows that across the world younger farmers are taking over family farms and revolutionising the way they are operated. Countries such as Brazil and China and those in Africa are at the forefront of this change.
AGCO, through Massey Ferguson, already has unparalleled expertise and local knowledge of African agriculture, which it has amassed over many generations. It is now strengthening its commitment to the continent with investments, totally $100 million, in number of initiatives, which are aimed at creating employment, helping to develop infrastructure and improve mechanisation, as well as providing wider access to education and training.
In Lusaka, Zambia AGCO has created a new 150ha (330 acre) Model Farm and Learning Centre, where it is putting its development commitment and ideas into action. This centre offers education and training to African farmers, at all levels, to provide a better understanding about soils, agronomy, crop protection and mechanisation techniques to boost sustainable productivity.
AGCO’s eventual aim is to transfer the knowledge and infrastructure being developed at the Zambian Model farm and Learning Centre across Africa. Exporting the core knowledge and expertise from Zambia will help establish the ‘Future Farm’ concept to provide further education and agricultural development across the continent. At the same time the project aims to ‘pull in’ other partners with AGCO to help develop the much-needed infrastructure and supply industry. Appropriate farm mechanisation is seen as the key to unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential. Investment in farm machinery technology accompanied, importantly, by education will provide the catalyst for rural development. Farm machinery boosts efficiency and helps increase yields, while also relieving workers from the drudgery of manual labour currently employed in many areas to cultivate the land and tend crops.
This is highlighted in the song ‘Youth In Agriculture’, written and performed by the MEGA Fame Foundation, an NGO from Ghana. The catchy tune and memorable lyrics aim to convey the message that a country’s health and development largely depend on farming; and by taking an active role in agriculture young Africans can help in the fight against hunger. The music video to promote the song and message was filmed using the support and resources of Massey Ferguson’s Audio Visual team at the Model Farm and Learning Centre in Zambia. The lively video shows the band performing with help from young farm staff and village children. The video, which was screened at the Summit, can be viewed here.
Elsewhere across the continent, AGCO initiatives are creating a wide range of new jobs with on-the-job training, as well as improving the infrastructure and support for farmers. Local assembly of Massey Ferguson tractors for the African market has now started with a joint venture operation in Algeria. This has already created a wide range of jobs at all levels – from highly trained engineers through to trainees. It is also boosting the local economy and offering further employment opportunities through the value chain.
Meanwhile AGCO continues to invest in developing its own business and facilities in the region and has recently built and opened a new Parts Distribution Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as a new regional office in Cape Town. It is also working on a variety of projects to improve its distribution network in North, West and East Africa.
Proud, symbolic and with great dignity, a Massey Harris 780 Combine Harvester is recovered from the town Museum of Horn in Austria back to AGCO’s UK facility at Abbey Park, Stoneleigh to be completely renovated back to its original standard by a volunteer group of Abbey Park employees.
The Combine Harvester restoration project is part of the commemoration of 75 years of the world’s first commercial production of the self-propelled Combine Harvester in 1938. The first self-propelled Combine harvester in Europe was first assembled in Manchester, UK in 1947 before full design and production began at M-H’s Combine factory in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1948. The M-H 780 was one of the most successful produced there and went on to become one of the first to be fully branded Massey Ferguson.
The actual machine being renovated dates from the year of Massey Ferguson’s founding in 1958 and had a productive working life in Austria before ending up as an “unfinished project” within the Horn Town Museum, 30 years ago. Once completed, the M-H 780 will feature at various events around Europe, commemorating the 75 years.
With major investments and developments in the current Massey Ferguson Harvesting range that are being recognized for their high quality and reliability, it is timely to record that Massey Ferguson holds a unique position in the Harvesting world that provides a strong mandate for future success as AGCO continues to invest heavily in this critical sector within farm mechanization.
A Massey Ferguson tractor that took part in the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games has become a star feature at Fishers Farm Adventure Park, an award-winning family visitor attraction located at Wisborough Green, near Billingshurst, West Sussex.
Supplied to Fishers Farm through local Massey Ferguson dealer, Yeowart Agricultural Ltd, Sharpthorne, East Grinstead, the 102hp MF 5440 tractor has swapped a supporting role within the Olympic Stadium for almost continuous action seven days a week pulling a visitor-packed trailer past a variety of livestock pens and paddocks located alongside a circular route through the farm park.
Known as “The Big Red Tractor Ride”, the tour – which takes between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on season – can include adult and young sheep, pigs, goats and alpacas, Shire horses, Cobs and Shetland ponies, dairy and beef cattle, hens, ducks and geese plus visiting wildfowl that may have dropped-in during the day. A recorded commentary is broadcast during the ride telling the history of Fishers Farm and the activities that now take place throughout the year on the 20ha holding.
Owned and managed by the Rollings family since 1985, Fishers Farm was initially planted with soft fruit and run as a “pick your own” enterprise by husband and wife team, Tim and Trina Rollings.
A chance remark by a customer led to the introduction of refreshments and toilet facilities followed soon after by casual viewings of the Rollings’ own domesticated livestock, events which sowed the seeds for the creation of Fishers Farm Adventure Park. The venue welcomed its first paying customer on 1 June 1990.
Today, visitors to the attraction number more than 1,000 a day during the summer months, drawn by a heady mix of exciting rides, absorbing activities and informative animal features which provide a great day out for all the family.
“Both Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors were being used on the farm long before we bought the land and planted soft fruit,” explained Tim Rollings. “Our first tractor back in 1985 was a Massey and we have remained loyal to the brand right through to the present day, having used Massey Ferguson models to provide our big red tractor rides since they first began.”
In autumn 2012, Tim Rollings decided that he needed a slightly more powerful tractor to comfortably pull the trailer carrying large numbers of visitors around the outdoor livestock feature attractions.
“I sought advice from local dealer, Yeowart Agricultural, and was told that the firm had acquired one of the tractors loaned by Massey Ferguson to assist at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” explained Tim. “That tractor, an MF 5440, had exactly the power output that we wanted. Its unique celebrity status made it a must-have for Fishers Farm Adventure Park and I ordered the tractor the same day.”
Delivered in November 2012, the MF 5440 tractor has been a huge success with visitors and the Rollings family from the outset.
The turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder engine is quiet, economical and provides loads of torque at low engine speeds while gear changes are fast and simple thanks to Massey Ferguson’s Dyna- 4 transmission which provides four clutchless gear changes within each of four different speed ranges.
The tractor’s crowning glory, said Tim, is its spacious flat-floor cab which offers excellent all-round visibility, low sound levels and a very comfortable ride.
“Our tractor played a part at the opening of the world’s biggest sporting event,” he concluded. “I am delighted that it has now taken on a very important and high-profile role within our business and is being appreciated by the thousands of people, young and old, who visit Fishers Farm Adventure Park every week.”
To read more about Fishers Farm Park.
Two identical Massey Ferguson compact tractors are winning praise from course managers and staff at St Andrews Links for their gutsy performance, fuel economy and well-balanced configuration on tasks ranging from pallet handling to overseeding and deep tine aeration to trailer work. Purchased in 2012 by St Andrews Links Trust from local Massey Ferguson dealer, Reekie Cupar, the two 46hp MF 1547 tractors replaced a pair of similarly-sized tractors that had reached retirement age, explained workshop manager, Willie Redpath.
“Having drawn up a shortlist and arranged comparative demonstrations, we settled on the Masseys due to their impressive operating environment, sound build quality and ease of use. The proximity of MF dealer, Reekie Cupar, just 15 minutes away was also a relevant factor in selecting a tractor model that is new to St Andrews Links.”
Willie pointed out that although the Links Trust has owned larger MF tractors previously, the two MF 1547s are the first Massey Ferguson compacts to have worked on any of St Andrews’ seven public golf courses.
One of the new MF 1547 tractors joined the machinery fleet on the famed Old Course, managed by Gordon McKie, while the other is working primarily on the Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove Courses, where Kevin Muir heads the greenkeeping teams.
In addition to everyday turf maintenance tasks, either tractor may be called on to help out on the practice range or any of the other three courses managed by St Andrews Links Trust.
Gordon McKie commented that the MF 1547 tractor is proving a hit with staff on the Old Course. “You can tell that by the fact that everyone gathers around the Massey first thing in the morning, hoping they will be allocated the tractor for the day’s work,” he said. “To be frank, it’s a very good tractor that does everything asked of it without complaint. A particularly good feature is its long nose which ensures good balance when operating heavy rear-mounted equipment, in particular pallet forks fully laden with rolls of turf.”
Fellow course manager, Kevin Muir, echoed Gordon’s sentiments, adding that the spacious air-conditioned cab makes the tractor a pleasure to drive, enhanced by excellent all-round visibility and low sound levels.
“Both tractors have MF’s DynaQPS transmission which combines forward/reverse power shuttle with push button change-on-the-move across all four gears in each of the three main ranges,” said Kevin. “This feature makes driving the tractor a doddle and is ideal for turf aeration when looking to maintain accurate holes spacing across greens.
“All in all, the tractor is an invaluable member of our machinery fleet, equally happy working at creep speeds on turf as it is hauling loads at road speed up to three miles from the turf nursery. Everyone likes driving it.”
Massey Ferguson is one of the main sponsors of an expedition to reach the South Pole in 2014, using modern day tractors. This will emulate the achievement of Sir Edmund Hillary, who completed the first journey and reached the South Pole using three Ferguson tractors in 1958. It is planned that three MF 5600 tractors will reach the South Pole 56 years after Sir Edmund Hillary’s achievement. This will also be the 56th Anniversary year of the birth of the Massey Ferguson brand name.
Speaking at Massey Ferguson’s SIMA Show press conference in Paris, Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson EAME, introduced the lead driver, Manon Ossevoort, and explained her longstanding mission to take a tractor to the South Pole.
Renowned international experts have already been engaged to assist with the expedition, said Mr Markwell who confirmed initial planning and trials for the event are now well underway. Full details will be made available over the coming months as the plans turned into reality.