Back in 2011, FarmLife magazine, our exclusive customer publication, asked young producers what fuels their passion for farming. We visited with them again recently and learned, despite the odds and obstacles, they’re doing well.
When last we reached out to Michel Camps, the Barnell, Alberta, farmer spoke of his mistakes, mentors and wife, Hanneke. In 2011, Camps’ CP Farms consisted of 1,750 acres of potatoes, sunflowers, small grains, sugar beets and corn. The farm, says Camps, has grown to about 2,400 acres, in part because of long-term leases of neighboring land and purchasing land.
“We still grow the same crops, but just do a little bit more,” Camps says. In 2012, the Camps family built and tripled their on-farm storage capacity for potatoes and stopped renting storage, and they added additional grain storage. “With all the crops being in one yard now, it has made it easier to manage crop deliveries in the winter, especially potatoes,” he says.
Camps just came off eight years serving on the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers board. During that stint, he spent a fair amount of time away from the farm, especially in the winter. His current day to day in winter, he says, involves organizing parts, servicing machinery, planning for the next season, attending meetings (agronomy, seed, fertilizer, chemical) or delivering crops to the buyers. “In the farming season,” he adds, “I run the RoGator, our self-propelled harvester, and do almost all the irrigation.”
We interviewed Doug Sass in 2011 as a 31-year-old farming on his Monona, Iowa, operation. Quite a bit has changed over the past five years. Sass farmed 1,100 acres of corn (including seed corn) and soybeans then. He also helped his father feed 500 head of cattle a year, and they shared some equipment. Part of his business included hauling seed corn on contract for Monsanto.
“I’m farming around 2,000 acres,” Sass says now. He’s still hauling Monsanto seed corn and has cut back on cattle—feeding less than 100—but has new livestock. “Last winter, I added a 65-head flock of sheep, which I’ve really enjoyed,” he says. “Plus, they’re great weed-eaters!”
Sass has plenty of additional farm experience under his belt, and he says he’s always looking for farming opportunities— “and ways to take more fishing trips,” he quips.
Quite possibly better educated and prepared than any generation before them, young producers still face major challenges in getting off the ground. For this FarmLife Special Report, we asked several young farmers about their challenges and goals, then listened as each spoke of hard lessons learned, their passion for farming and hopes for the future.
Three families are featured in profile stories and video interviews: the Skobergs, who grow peas, wheat and canola on Twin Oaks Farm in Lougheed, Alberta; the Robertses, who farm and run a fencing and custom gate business in Pittsylvania County, Virginia; and the Boeres, whose dairy operation is in Modesto, California. Each has a unique story to tell, including the innovative ways they have made a life and a living on the farm.
To go along with the family profiles, the Young Farmers Special Report includes advice from parents, resources to help young and new farmers, a look back at our previous special report and more.
In the article “Raising Farmers,” father Jerry McDonald and son Jon—now a father himself—offer advice on preparing the next generation for a career in agriculture. You’ll also read about how the National Young Farmers Coalition works to connect beginning farmers with resources, such as information on loans and subsidies.
See the entire special report, including video interviews: Young Farmers: Growing Their Future And Ours
The RG700 self-propelled sprayer and Gleaner Super Series combines have been chosen as Agri Marketing magazine’s 2013 New Product of the Year and 2013 Product of the Year, respectively. AGCO is the first company in the 15-year history of the Agri Marketing product awards to take home both honors in a given year.
“Our panel of independent agriculture industry professionals chose these two innovative machines based on the value they provide to today’s farmers and the unique marketing approaches that have helped contribute to their success in our industry,” says Lynn Henderson, publisher of Agri Marketing. “The RG700 and Gleaner Super Series join a distinguished group of winners, all of which contribute to making growers more successful in producing feed, food and fiber for a growing world population.”
Agri Marketing’s 2013 New Product of the Year, the RG700 self-propelled sprayer, debuted this fall, proving the axiom that good things can come in small packages. The RG700 is a compact, 700-gallon tank machine that brings growers the benefits found in larger, professional-grade RoGator® sprayers.
The Tier 4 interim-compliant RG700 has an industry-leading AWD Smart Drive System™, even weight distribution and Parallel C-channel flex frame, providing consistent field speed without shifting, plus excellent traction with all four wheels remaining in constant contact with the ground. The result is a smooth ride and more precise product application, even under varying field conditions. Other key benefits include a powerful, yet fuel-efficient high-torque engine, adjustable track widths, and outstanding cab comfort and safety.
The Gleaner Super Series combine, Agri Marketing’s 2013 Product of the Year, was first introduced in 2010 with the S7 Super Series transverse rotary combine. Built to solve the challenges of greater yields, more residue, more acres and rising fuel costs, the S7 Super Series represented a large leap forward in harvesting capacity and efficiency, while reinforcing Gleaner’s reputation for durability, simplicity, low grain loss and very clean grain sample.
The new S8 Super Series, introduced in August 2013, takes harvesting technology even further — and includes the world’s first Class 8 transverse rotary combine. Built on the Optimum Harvesting Performance platform, the S8 Super Series is designed for ultimate efficiency and reduced parasitics. This drives horsepower to the rotor to process and thresh the crop, so growers can get more done while burning less fuel. The S8 Series features the lightest Class 6 through 8 combines on the market, and provides growers with unmatched grain quality and great throughput.
“We are incredibly honored that these products have been recognized for their innovation and value to agricultural producers,” says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “In 2007, AGCO began an era of significant investment in new-product research and development, driven by listening to the needs of our customers in the United States and Canada. The innovations these products deliver are a result of that investment, plus a lot of hard work. We’re proud these products provide producers with the solutions they need.”
Full details about the products and the marketing case studies behind them are available in the November/December issue of Agri Marketing magazine. For more information on the RG700, visit www.applylikeapro.com/RG700. For more information about Gleaner combines or to find a dealer near you, visit www.GleanerCombines.com.
Randy Bauwens, Town & Country Supply Association in Edgar, Montana
Ben Hayes, Crop Production Services (CPS) in Lanark, Illinois
Tom Leuthardt, Cenex Harvest States (CHS) in Chokio, Minnesota
Tony Randolph, Southern States in Farmville, North Carolina
The four finalists will join AGCO as honorary guests at the 2013 Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Conference and Expo Dec. 3 – 5, in Miami, Fla. During the conference, the winner of Operator of the Year will be awarded a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
We strive to make the machines in the AGCO Application Equipment Division the finest in the industry — engineered from the ground up for precision, dependability and reliability. But no matter how good the equipment, there is something to be said for the makeup of the person behind the wheel.
Again, congratulations to all the nominees for all their hard work and dedication to the application profession and to the four finalists whom truly represent the best of the best.
Go to http://www.applylikeapro.com/operator-of-the-year/2013-finalists/ to learn more about the finalists.
We announced the expansion of our current Kansas City, MO, AGCO Parts facility to a full-service parts distribution center (PDC). The facility (specifically, located in Independence, MO) covers 900,000 square feet and now includes $100 million of parts inventory, an increase of nearly 40 percent. To mark the official opening, more than 100 dealer representatives and customers toured the facility April 10 and 11 during Grand Opening activities.
Our effort to expand this center and increase our inventory is expected to improve order responsiveness, which means that parts deliveries that can arrive as much as two to three days faster than before. Changes implemented will result in faster delivery of in-stock parts and earlier delivery of emergency and priority shipments for nearly 90 percent of the dealers served by the Kansas City PDC. This is the third of our AGCO Parts PDC’s to be upgraded to a full-service facility in the last two years. Collectively, the upgrades offer significant benefits for customers to reduce shipping times, since now one-half (four of eight) of AGCO Parts’ North American PDC locations are full-stocking. These are just a few examples of our intensive efforts to improve parts availability.
“As growers continue to increase the size of their operations, the need to minimize downtime becomes increasingly important,” says Joe DiPietro, director, Supply Chain, AGCO Parts.
“Transitioning our Kansas City parts distribution center to a full-service location further illustrates AGCO’s commitment to support our dealers and their customers. This will provide faster service to our dealers and enhance their efforts to keep customers’ equipment in the field and performing at optimum levels. ”
With its central location at the crossroads of major Interstate systems, the Kansas City facility serves dealers in the Midwest, northern Plains and eastern Mountain regions which are all important markets for AGCO Parts. Parts for all product lines from tractors and combines to tillage and application equipment are stocked there, with shipments to dealers made daily.
Additional changes implemented by AGCO Parts across North America during the past three years that also are designed to improve customer experience include:
• an updated and reorganized inventory management system;
• increased dealers’ parts inventories
• revisions to online parts books, making it easier and faster to order the correct parts;
• PM360, a pro-active preventative maintenance program, designed to enhance machine uptime, resale value and operating efficiencies, as well as provide peace of mind and optimum machine productivity;
• extended customer service hours during planting, spraying and harvest seasons.
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For more information about AGCO Parts, our products, services and in-season promotions visit www.AGCOParts.com.