Congratulations to the Land of the Little Grey Fergie at Norway’s Kongeparken which scooped a top prize at the Thea Awards in Los Angeles, considered by many to be the Oscars of the Themed Entertainment Industry.
This fantastic attraction area at the Kongeparken in Stavanger, one of Scandinavia’s foremost theme parks, is a celebration of the children’s character ‘Little Grey Fergie’ (Gråtass) which is based on an original Ferguson TE20 tractor.
Against stiff international competition, the team behind Gråtassland were thrilled to receive the Thea Award for New Park Land on a Limited Budget.
Over the last 20 years the original story of Little Grey Fergie’s adventures, written by Morten Myklebust, has grown into several television series, two feature films, ten music albums, live shows and more than 15 books.
Inspired by this success, Gråtassland opened in 2014. It was an instant hit and has been drawing big crowds ever since.
The Thea jury commented: “The charming Little Grey Fergie Land engages adults and children alike. It immerses them in the world of the Little Grey Fergie and is an ideal mix of real environments and fantasy. It celebrates history, modern times and fantasy – all with a goal of entertaining, and teaching about animals, farming and the importance of taking care of our environment…….This is a tremendous success that never strays from the story or the goal of the project.”
Håkon Lund, CEO of Kongeparken said: “It’s a great honour to receive the award and gain this recognition for our work. In designing Gråtassland, our aim was to engage visitors by changing the focus away from the attraction, to the experience. At its heart is an exciting tractor ride wrapped up in the tale of a much-loved icon telling the story of the Massey Ferguson Brand and its history.”
The international Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and its awards were created to recognize achievement and talent at visitor attractions and experiences in the leisure and travel sector.
Find out more on Gråtassland at www.kongeparken.no
You can watch the live-action series at www.littlegreyfergie.com
It’s tough being a pioneer, but John Fiscalini comes from a long line of them. Scale his family tree, and you’ll find innovation in the Fiscalini DNA going back centuries.
The dairy business is the taproot of that family tree. But the mountains around the Fiscalinis’ ancestral Swiss homeland—the tiny town of Lionza—often made the transport of fresh milk treacherous or impossible, particularly during the harsh winters. So the family turned to cheesemaking as more than added value; it was a way to avoid wasting the work of the family dairy.
“I have milk in my blood,” says John, who with son Brian runs the 1,500-cow Fiscalini Farms at Modesto, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley. “Going generations back, it’s all dairy, dairy, dairy.” Still, John didn’t bring cheese back into the family business until the turn of the 21st century, this time less as necessity than as craft. At the suggestion of the California Milk Advisory Board, John began attending farmstead cheesemaking seminars and “got roped into the sexiness of it,” he says.
The execution was less than sexy. Cheesemaking was new to California, so even finding the equipment proved a challenge, as did finding the right cheesemaker, an essential partner in the process. But John had the dairy part down pat. Attention to cleanliness and comfort of his cows give John’s renowned cheesemaker, Mariano Gonzales, a blank canvas to “work magic,” as John puts it.
“The milk that John produces—it’s very, very clean,” says Gonzales. “There is nothing in there to interfere with the bacteria I use to create the cheese.” After a dozen years working with that clean milk—the blank canvas—the awards have piled up. Fiscalini’s cloth-bound cheddar has won best cheddar in the world twice at the World Cheese Awards in London—very rare for an American cheesemaker. The dairy’s signature San Joaquin Gold, a smoky, Italian-style cheese aged 16 months, took gold at the World Cheese Awards as well.
Keeping It Genuine
To run their award-winning and innovative dairy, the Fiscalinis rely heavily on their tractors. “Well, we don’t baby these things,” John says of his Massey Ferguson® equipment—all utility tractors in the 80- to 90-hp range. From the newest, the MF491, to the vintage MF285, these are tractors already known for longevity and durability; but John and his dealer Rick Gray from Stanislaus Implement and Hardware still offer tips to keeping hard-working equipment up and running:
Genuine AGCO Parts. “Our guys [at the dairy] do a lot of the maintenance and service, but if something breaks down, we don’t want to put an aftermarket part on there or something that’s gonna be defective or not the high quality we expect from AGCO,” says John.
Good relationship with the dealer. “I’ve known John and his family for more than 30 years,” says Rick. “He is more than a customer. He is part of the family.”
John says the relationship with Stanislaus Implement is generational. “Rick’s father took care of my father,” he says. “They take care of you. The value of these tractors is the support behind them, end of conversation.”
“The first thing I did when I got out on my own was buy some land and set up a small farm,” says Barnette. “Basically, right now, I grow grass, but I plan to, Lord willing, build a barn and have a few horses.”
Not that there’s any rush, says Barnette, who works for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “There’s just enough land that I can take care of it myself. I built a cabin up there and I spend a couple of nights there whenever I can. I get dirty, work on the tractor and cut that grass.” Staying on the land, he continues, “is therapy. It’s a good stress reliever.”
His tractor is a MF3635, and he keeps that grass in check with two Massey Ferguson mower implements purchased from Cemar Inc., in Holcomb, Miss.: a rotary flex cutter and a rear-discharge finishing mower.
“I bought them both at the same time, and I haven’t had any problems with them. Now, I take good care of them, but they’re well built,” he notes.
In addition to mechanical parts that Barnette says cut evenly, “the decks on both my Massey’s are thicker than those other [brands’] mowers. That might not seem like much of a difference your first year or two—they’ll do OK for a short period of time—but then you’ll start to see some damage and rust. These Massey’s are built to last.”
Rick McCorkle, agrees. Now retired, the Hollandale, Miss., resident uses a Massey Ferguson rear-discharge finishing mower and rotary cutter to maintain the two acres around his home, as well as prepare a food plot for deer hunting. He also helps maintain some other property, including his mother-in-law’s.
McCorkle, who runs his mowers with a MF1428—all of which were purchased at Cemar—says he prefers his Massey equipment over other brands. “I’ve had to replace belts more often on one of my other mowers, but only once on the Massey. My [Massey] mowers are 5 or 6 years old, but I don’t have any rusty spots on my deck or bad spots on them. They’re built real good.”
For more information on the full line of mowers and landscaping tools from Massey Ferguson, see http://www.masseyferguson.us/products/implements-attachments.
Designed for durability and to deliver superior performance in the field, Genuine Sunflower Replacement Blades and Sweeps offer farmers a proven edge.
Cutting through tough, hybrid crop residue and hard-packed soils, Sunflower vertical tillage tools lead the industry in innovation and performance. But to keep these best-in-class tools operating at their best and helping to prepare the ideal seedbed, be sure to use Genuine Sunflower Replacement Blades.
Made with the highest quality materials, exacting manufacturing methods and rigorous testing—Sunflower Genuine Replacement Blades lead the industry in durability and performance. Here’s just a partial list for what sets them apart from the competition.
Material Quality. The best disc blades and sweeps start with the finest materials. Sunflower utilizes proprietary boron steel to provide best-in-class durability, leading to longer, higher-performing wear.
Advanced Manufacturing. Precise robotic cutting and manufacturing equipment guarantees exact dimensions and sharpness. Water quenching, after-heat treatment sets these parts apart to eliminate wobble, and adds to the overall performance and durability.
Quality Testing. Every batch of discs, sweeps and other Genuine Sunflower Replacement Parts goes through a battery of tests to ensure the highest quality and durability.
Just like having the right-sized tractor to pull these exceptionally effective and efficient implements, replacement parts are critical to the best-in-class operation of Sunflower Seed and Tillage tools. Ensure you maintain that high level of performance in your fields with Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts.
To learn more about Sunflower parts, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/sunflowerparts/ or visit your Sunflower dealer and ask for Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts.
By Whitney West
Fuse® Technologies continues to further educate and inform by participating in key regional events the first quarter of 2015. Customers had the opportunity to learn more about current technology products, hear from leaders in the industry, and visit with Fuse Technologies experts about what to expect in the coming months from AGCO technology products and services.
National Farm Machinery Show (February 11-14, 2015)
The National Farm Machinery show offered an array of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment and services for the visitors to the Kentucky based show. Fuse Technologies was there offering our customers an opportunity to view the connected farm through our augmented reality experience. This walked visitors through the crop cycle beginning with planning to planting to harvesting and grain storage all through the lens of products offered within the Fuse Technologies portfolio.
Held at the same time in Tulare, CA, World Ag Expo offered a view into the largest annual agricultural exposition. More than 1,400 exhibitors displayed the latest in farm equipment and technology. AGCO had a welcoming presence inviting visitors to our farm. Visitors learned about AGCO’s equipment and Fuse Technologies while visiting each turn of the crop cycle, and learned from industry experts on how to increase their profit potential over lunch.
SIMA (February 22-26, 2015)
This year’s SIMA event, held in Paris, hosted 1,740 exhibitors from 42 countries, and welcomed 238,848 professional visitors from 145 countries. New areas of interest included soil tillage, irrigation, beet harvesting, trailers and handling, and cereal harvesting. AGCO had much to celebrate with the successful mission of the recently returned team from the Antarctica2 expedition, an ambitious 5,000km round trip to the South Pole on a MF 5610. This is the first standard farm tractor to reach the Geographic South Pole overland. The tractor was fitted with AgCommand®, AGCO’s telematics solution, from the Fuse Technologies product portfolio. A special version was used on the Antarctica2 expedition to track the tractor and monitor its performance. The Antarctica2 MF 5610 expedition tractor was a highlight of Massey Ferguson’s stand at SIMA.
Fuse Technologies was present at South America’s Expodireto. Held the second week of March, this was the 16th edition of the agricultural and technology farm show. Massey Ferguson and Valtra offered separate stands for visitors to interact with technology solutions, learn more about Fuse through the technology team and our interactive display, and spend time with their local dealer.
Precision Farming Expo (March 17-18, 2015)
Fuse Technologies, for the first time, participated in the Precision Farm Expo 2015. The second annual event returned to Oregon with a mission of “bringing clarity to farmers” through displays and presentations of currently available and near future agri-tech innovations. This expo was designed for those interested in learning how new and increasingly affordable technology solutions are becoming available to farmers of all sizes. Fuse presented their interactive Fused farm walking farmers through our current suite of technology solutions by crop cycle.
Fuse Technologies continues to make its way around the globe as we build on the continued strength of AGCO, and the technology products and services offered to support and enhance our customers’ bottom line. Please make plans to join us at an upcoming summer or fall farm show where you can learn more about all that Fuse has to offer. For a full list of upcoming events, click here.
To see more photos from recent events, visit our Facebook page.
To learn more about Fuse Technologies, visit the Fuse website.
Whitney West is a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist for the global Advanced Technologies Solutions (ATS) group, helping to bring the Fuse Technologies message to our customers, dealers, stakeholders, employees and the media.