Celebrating its milestone 20th year is esCARpade – the Camp Quality outback motoring initiative that brings together family, friends and car enthusiasts from all over Australia who are committed to making laughter the best medicine for children and their families living with cancer.
After two decades of wacky cars and dusty, muddy roads, Camp Quality organisers decided to retrace the 1992 route starting out on 14 October in Bendigo, Victoria and finishing in Bright, Victoria a week later.
Following from previous years, Valtra is yet again a proud sponsor of the Harvey family, who have been involved with esCARpade for a number of years. They joined the parade by travelling up to 450km per day in their custom designed BMW.
“My family and I were very proud to be a part of esCARpade again,” says Keith Harvey. “It was great to travel to so many different towns and being able to spread the word on the great work Camp Quality do.”
Offering family support, recreation and education programs, Camp Quality in Australia has raised millions of dollars to bring happiness and support to children and their families that have been affected by cancer. In particular, esCARpade in 2010 raised $1.3 million – the highest amount ever raised! Organisers and supporters alike are hoping to do the same this year – all the while, providing a week full of laughter and outdoor activities for a number of children and their families.
What local organisations do you support?
As the first person to own a Fendt tractor in Australia, John Holtkamp’s inspirational story reflects the true spirit of the many settlers who paved the way for a new life in the Wimmera region of Victoria.
John Holtkamp arrived in Australia in January 1951 to start a new chapter of his life. Originally from Brieg, Silesia (today Poland) and growing up in Memmingen, Southern Germany, John took the plunge to follow the call of the Wimmera Lutheran Mission and settle into a life of farming.
John soon became a successful farmer on a property located North-East of Murtoa in the Wimmera region. With his first wife of 25 years he raised 4 children and later expanded his enterprise by taking over the farm of his older brother which was adjacent to his land.
It wasn’t until the late ‘70’s that John decided that he needed a new tractor. At the time he was having a discussion with his brother Joerg who was in Germany and working for Fendt at the Marktoberdorf plant. Joerg’s advice for John was – “why don’t you buy the best tractor available, a Fendt Favorit?”
Fendt tractors were not available in Australia at the time, so John embarked on a mission to source the tractor that he believed featured the most advanced technology that would not only suit his farming requirements but also create some interest with other Australian farmers.
In late 1980 John finally placed an order direct on the factory for an 115hp Fendt Favorit 611 LSA and in June 1981 via ship
and rail, the first Fendt tractor arrived on Australian shores.
The new Fendt was an instant hit in the area with John showcasing the state-of-the-art technology and high performance and reliability to local farmers. John was also very proactive in advertising the impressive debut of the new Fendt by placing advertisements on the benefits of the new tractor in the local press.
Realising the potential for the Australian market and how farmers could benefit from one of the world’s most advanced tractors;
Fendt teamed up with a Melbourne based importing business to distribute Fendt tractors on a larger scale. This venture was soon followed by the creation of the Fendt Australia Company who began to build a strong following of customers for the Fendt brand, which in 1994 shifted to a new level with the acquisition by AGCO Corporation.
Impressed with the performance of the Fendt Favorit 611 model, John purchased his second Fendt tractor, a 155hp GT255 Tool-Carrier which was fitted with a grader blade and front end loader and featured a host of hydraulic options.
Now in his mid 70’s, John shows no signs of slowing down and is still actively working as a share farmer and incidentally still uses Fendt tractors on the property. John also operates Wimmera Health Grain which involves organising a group of growers to produce Spelt, an ancient form of wheat which is marketed as a specialty food grain.
After 30 years, the first Fendt tractor in Australia still takes pride of place on the Holtkamp property and still starts
with one crank of the key.
How long have you used Fendt on your farm?
Massey Ferguson customers in central New South Wales, Australia recently picked up some hot tips on how to maximise the performance of their large square balers.
The Customer Day was held by local dealers Cowra Machinery Centre and Forbes Machinery Centre with approximately 60 customers in attendance that were provided with a comprehensive overview of the Massey Ferguson large square baler range.
On hand to conduct the training was John Russell, Massey Ferguson Product Manager for hay products who has been running similar customer programs for many years now.
“The main aim of the customer day is to provide customers with information that will enable them to have their balers working at top capacity come harvest time. When the hay season finally arrives, we want our customers working in the paddock and making the most of the limited time they have and providing tips on correct maintenance, preventative measures and trouble-shooting will ensure their downtime is minimised,” says John.
Part of the training which was conducted by dealership staff included an electric powered knotter system that has the same key components as the knotter system found in Massey Ferguson large square balers. “Having the knotter system on a stand enables us to show customers how the system works which in turn provides customers with an understanding of how to fix any potential knotter issues that may arise,” adds John.
In addition to the benefits for customers, the training program also provides an opportunity to meet with customers and learn more about their enterprises and gather valuable feedback on machine performance. “Running the customer days is just as important to our organisation and our dealer network as we learn more about our balers from those who are operating them in various conditions. This enables us to provide valuable feedback back to the factory and to our Service departments, “ adds John.
Feedback on the training from the customers was also very positive as they now prepare for the forthcoming hay season in Australia. “The customer day was a great success and this is largely attributed to the efforts put in by the two dealerships – Cowra Machinery Centre and Forbes Machinery Centre who have built a solid reputation for providing outstanding customer service,” adds John.
Have you ever attended a customer day in your area? What did you learn?
Hi, my name is Silvia Smarrelli and I am the Marketing Communications Officer for AGCO Australia. I’m part of the large marketing team here in Australia that is responsible for promoting the AGCO brands across Australia and New Zealand.
I completed my Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) at RMIT University in 2008 and have been with AGCO for one year.
I have enjoyed the “learning curve” of understanding how AGCO works, as well as its many products. Working on a array of different communication mediums during my time here – including brochures, press advertising and online – has definitely increased my knowledge of the agricultural industry and I look forward to learning much more!