Dr. John Varty, a professor who taught agriculture and environmental history courses through the MacMillan Center at Yale University, is setting out to chronicle how and why agriculture production has changed in Canada as farmers work to meet the demands of an increasing global population. As Varty travels across the country, driving a Massey Ferguson 1660 compact tractor, he will explore a variety of agriculture-related subjects, from the enduring family farm to the new generation of farmers to food production and land-use changes. The trip will be filmed, and the footage used to produce a documentary. Varty will depart June 30 from Atlantic Tractors and Equipment Ltd., the Massey Ferguson dealership in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
“There have been a fair number of books and documentaries released in recent years that explore how food is produced,” explains Varty. “There are two poles of thought that much of this literature would have us believe. The first is the idea that our food is right on the edge of becoming nonexistent via corporate involvement. And, on the other end of that scale there seems to be this type of white-knight story, where someone is supposed to ride in and save us all. The truth of the matter is that the majority of farmers in Canada are still working out of a family unit, and I want to talk with these farmers to learn more about the challenges they face each day.”
Massey Ferguson, which is sponsoring the tractor ride, has a deep connection to Canadian agriculture, dating back more than 150 years. In 1847, Daniel Massey opened a small workshop to build farm implements in Newcastle, Ontario. Ever since then, Massey Ferguson has been a pioneer in the agriculture equipment industry, developing innovative equipment that farmers count on to help overcome the obstacles and challenges they encounter in the field. And, although a lot has changed in agriculture since 1847, one thing hasn’t: the tremendous pride the Massey Ferguson brand has in its Canadian heritage.
“What Dr. Varty is undertaking is truly a unique project in every sense of the word. Given our Canadian history, it made perfect sense to get involved with this effort,” says Rajesh Joshi, director of marketing at Massey Ferguson. “It’s not every day you hear about an individual who wants to hit the road to connect with farmers to better understand who they are, what they do and how they work. It’s just as much our responsibility as it is anyone else’s in agriculture to help consumers understand how and why the industry has evolved.”
During the tractor ride, Varty will visit more than 20 Massey Ferguson dealerships throughout Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.
As Varty travels from town to town, he will make additional stops that coincide with local events, such as art festivals, music festivals, theater festivals and sporting events, among others. At each stop, farmers, food company officials, government representatives, community leaders and university professors will be invited to share their respective thoughts and ideas as they relate to food and food production in Canada.
“Our travels will include a hay wagon featuring a small cabin that replicates a 1950s’-style bungalow to provide us shelter and sleeping quarters,” says Varty. “I’ll conduct the majority of my interviews with people in a seating area on the wagon. While we’re going to invite people on board to share their thoughts and ideas, I also envision some creative uses for the wagon as well, such as inviting a local band to use it as a grandstand. I really don’t know what to expect until we depart from Charlottetown. That’s when all of the experiences, interviews and personal stories we’ll use in the documentary will truly begin.”
Additional amenities on the hay wagon include a freshwater tank and solar-generated electricity for lighting and laptop usage.
Varty’s interest in Canadian agricultural history extends beyond the classroom. He has numerous family members who have carried on the family’s five-generation farm in east-central Ontario. The tractor ride will wind through the back roads of Canada, reaching Leamington, Ontario, Canada, by the end of August.
Do you live in Canada? Are you interested in seeing Dr. Varty during his trip? Visit the website to see a full map of Dr. Varty’s stops, and plan your trip to visit Dr. Varty and the Massey Ferguson tractor. http://www.tractorcanada.com.
Massey Ferguson®, the “official tractor” of Rodney Atkins for 2011, and the 2011 Farm Progress Show are proud to jointly announce his August 31 performance in Decatur, Illinois, USA. Rodney Atkins is slated to take center stage for a live country music concert on Wednesday, August 31, at the 2011 Farm Progress Show in Decatur.
“We are excited to have Rodney Atkins performing at the 2011 Farm Progress Show to conclude the show’s second day,” states Don Tourte, vice president, shows and events, at Farm Progress Companies, St. Charles, Ill. “Rodney has established himself as one of country music’s biggest talents, and his performance marks another milestone for the show. The concert, which we are presenting in conjunction with Richland Community College, is sure to bring greater enthusiasm to the event and attract an even larger crowd this year.”
The 58th annual Farm Progress Show will be held August 30, 31 and September 1 at its permanent biennial location in Decatur. The show is recognized as the nation’s largest outdoor farm show, featuring the most extensive state-of-the-art information and technology available for today’s agricultural producers. The country’s top agribusinesses, plus many regional and local manufacturers and suppliers, are exhibitors.
The concert sponsored by Massey Ferguson, follows the close of the second show day; concert gates open at 5 p.m. A Decatur-area band, to be announced at a later date, opens the concert prior to Atkins’ scheduled 6:30 p.m. performance. The concert will be held at Richland Community College, just south of the Farm Progress Show exhibit field.
“As the ‘official tractor’ of Rodney Atkins for 2011, Massey Ferguson is proud to sponsor his performance at the 2011 Farm Progress Show,” explains Meghann McNally, brand marketing manager for Massey Ferguson. “Growing up in a small town in east Tennessee, Rodney understands what it means to take pride in a long day’s work on the farm. That deep connection with rural America really comes through in his music, and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate venue for this concert than the Farm Progress Show.”
Atkins has collaborated with some of country music’s biggest stars during his career. He has toured with Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride and ZZ Top. He has charted five No. 1 hits, including “Watching You,” “These Are My People,” and “It’s America.” Atkins’ most recent single, “Take a Back Road,” released just four weeks ago, is already his fastest chart-climbing single ever. Since its premier, the song has received nearly 50,000 downloads. In 2006, Atkins received the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Male Vocalist Award. His music has been nominated for numerous other awards by the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
Ticket prices are $15 in advance and $25 at the gate. Tickets may be ordered online at www.FarmProgressShow.com. All tickets are general admission and lawn seating. Concert admission is separate from show admission. The public is welcome. There are no ticket refunds or exchanges. Additional show and concert information is available at www.FarmProgressShow.com.
For more information on Massey Ferguson and our partnership with Rodney Atkins visit masseyferguson.com/rodneyatkins
Do you plan to attend the Farm Progress Show this year?
Are you in North America and interested in getting the latest farming technology for free? Then join us now for the Hesston by Massey Ferguson Auto-Steer Auto-Save Event! When you purchase a Hesston by Massey Ferguson SP Windrower you will receive our System 150 AutoSteering™ FREE! That is a $15,000 value.
The Hesston Series self-propelled windrowers from Massey Ferguson include three tough, versatile models that can handle any job you throw their way. Using next generation positioning technology the System 150 Auto Steering represents superior value for today’s farmer. On-screen visual aids, including the optional detachable lightbar and easy-to-read coverage maps, provide job information for complete application accuracy. Currently a range of steering-ready tractors are supported.
Do you want more information on the Hesston by Massey Ferguson Auto-Steer Auto-Save Event and the chance to win great prizes?
Text Hesston to 99699 to learn more about our Massey Ferguson Auto-Steer Auto-Save Event and participate in trivia contests where you can win Massey Ferguson give-a-ways.
Text Hesston to 99699 today to answer the very first trivia question about Hesston by Massey Ferguson history. (First 10 to respond correctly win).
Isn’t time you got your hands on a Hesston?
Share photos of your Hesston products with us on our Facebook page.
This program is only available in North America, some restrictions apply. Click to view terms and conditions.
We are pleased to bring the AES-25 Accurate Electric Steering Wheel and the System 150 automated steering system to the North American market for use on select self-propelled windrowers from Hesston by Massey Ferguson. These auto-steering products provide hay and small-grains producers with the most accurate and simple-to-operate assisted steering available in the industry for self-propelled windrowers.
Field demonstrations show these steering systems work together to reduce overlap and allow windrower operation at faster speeds, helping operators cut as much as 7 to 10 percent more hay each day than with manual steering. In fact, at the 2-centimeter accuracy level, which results in virtually no overlap, operators were able to harvest as much as 155 acres in a 10-hour day when using a 16-foot sickle-bar head. Fewer passes across the field, reduced fuel use and less operator stress and fatigue result.
Select Hesston by Massey Ferguson windrower products may be equipped with the AES-25 and System 150 and now producers considering purchasing machines will want to take advantage of incredible purchase incentives. During the Auto-Steer, Auto-Save Event, those who purchase a new Hesston by Massey Ferguson self-propelled windrower (offer good on select models only) between April 1 and June 30, 2011 in North America will receive a free System 150, AES-25 electric steering wheel kit and a self-propelled windrower field installation kit. That’s over a $15,000 value for free!
Visit your local dealer today or www.masseyferguson.us/windrowers to learn more about this incredible offer. There has never been a better time to buy a Hesston by Massey Ferguson windrower. Will you be taking advantage of this offer?
Check out the new Massey Ferguson website to learn the latest information on the exciting partnership with country music sensation Rodney Atkins. On the site you can watch Rodney Atkins’ interview where he shares his love of farming and how exciting it is for him to be a partner with Massey Ferguson. Don’t miss the music videos and concert tour schedule either – this information will be updated regularly, so make sure you check back for updates and news.
Want more? The website will also provide information on how you can win concert tickets, autographed merchandise and more. You can even sign-up to receive emails on the latest Rodney Atkins/Massey Ferguson news. Visit masseyferguson.com/rodneyatkins today to find our more!
What is your favorite Rodney Atkins song?