It’s Easier Than You Think to Win an iPad!!

I know what you’re thinking. You want to enter into the AGCO blog contest for a chance to win an iPad but you just haven’t done it yet. Either you don’t know what to write about or maybe you think it’s too hard. Well, I am here to help you out.

First of all, it’s super easy to enter: all you have to do is fill out our simple form and we will build the blog post for you. You don’t even have to have your own blog to do it!

And if you are suffering from writer’s block, here are just a few topics you could potentially write about or at least, these will spark an idea in your brilliant soon-to-be-blogging brain.

  • Tell your ag story: how are you connected to agriculture and why do you love it?
  • Tell us about your farm or take us on a virtual video tour of your farm. 
  • What makes your farm special? What is your farming heritage?
  • Tell us about your farm family, both now and generations past?
  • What is farming like in your region of the world?
  • How does agriculture impact your daily life?
  • Why do you love your Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson or Valtra tractors or other AGCO products?
  • Present both sides of a ag issue in two different blog posts. (ie: Pro and against organic farming or genetically modified crops, etc…)
  • Tell us how you prepare your equipment for winter, spring, summer or fall.
  • What is a typical day-in-the life of a corn/soybean/wheat/livestock/etc… farmer?

Did you recommend the contest to a friend? Remind them about the deadline by “sharing” our contest on Facebook, Twitter, etc. While you are at it, share it with any farmers you may know, agribusiness students, ag journalism students, 4H alums, FFA-ers or even your next door neighbor’s grandma’s cat-sitter’s boyfriend. Basically, anyone can enter and win!

The deadline for entries is THIS FRIDAY and YOU could win an iPad!
Enter the contest now.

Win an iPad in AGCO’s Blog Contest

I am excited to announce AGCO’s first blog contest, launching today! We want to know your thoughts and we want to share them with the world. Your ideas of “articulating agriculture” may be featured on the AGCO Blog,  so we can help spread your message. We might even ask you to become an AGCO guest blogger!

For example:

– If you are a college ag student, this is the perfect place for you to get some commercial experience for your resume and write about ag issues that really matter to you.

– If you are a farmer, you could tell the story of your family farm and the generations that went into building your business.

– If you just like to eat, tell us why you love the farmers who work so hard to grow your yummy food. You might even want to share about food producers or manufacturers you know or are passionate about.

However you would like to interpret “articulating agriculture,” we want to hear it. We would like to get stories from all regions and all types of farming. You certainly don’t need to be a professional writer, we are sure you have cool stories to tell that will help to articulate why agriculture is an amazing industry that provides food, fuel and fiber to the world. Everyone is touched by agriculture, so get ready to enter and tell your friends to join in the fun!

Submit your entries here by October 29, 2010 at 5pm EST for your chance to win. AGCO will then select 5 finalists that will be showcased right here on the AGCO blog the week of November 1st. You can then invite your friends and family to comment on your post either here on the AGCO Blog, or on the AGCO Facebook page. The winner of the iPad will be announced on November 9, 2010.

Be creative and get your thoughts heard.

Converting Cow Manure into Kilowatts

Converting farm waste into something useful and productive is nothing new (see Challenger’s biomass baler) but some researchers are getting very creative. HP is conducting research on using cow manure to power a new data center. The research paper was recently presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Conference on Energy Sustainability in Phoenix, Arizona.

“As data centers require ever more power to operate, they’re increasingly being located near existing power generation or cooling resources. One largely untapped source of energy, however, is the methane generated by manure on farms around the world.What ways have you found to turn your farm waste into something useful and beneficial?

*Photo via Cathy, Sam, Max and Mai’s photostream on Flickr

If released into the atmosphere, methane is 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. But it can be captured and used to power electrical generators.

The HP ASME paper shows how a farm of 10,000 dairy cows could generate 1MW of electricity, enough to power a typical modern data center and still support other needs on the farm.

Heat generated by a data center could also be used to more efficiently process the animal waste and thus increase methane production.

This symbiotic relationship helps address the dual challenge of reducing farm pollution and making data centers more environmentally sustainable, says Chandrakant Patel, HP Fellow and director of HP’s Sustainable IT Ecosystem Lab.” Source: The Cow-Powered Data Center: HP Labs Feature Article (May 2010)

Valtra Biogas Tractor

AGCO presents a new concept tractor model that runs on biogas. Valtra demonstrated the new engine technology for the first time in Sweden on 21 June.
The development of the biogas tractor and generator demonstrates the desire of AGCO to create solutions that allow renewable natural resources to be utilized efficiently,” says Martin Richenhagen, AGCO Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

AGCO’s Valtra brand and AGCO SISU POWER, AGCO’s innovative engine division, have developed the biogas tractor and are currently testing it in Sweden. Without making any changes to the original diesel engine, 70 to 80 percent of power is generated by biogas. The dual-fuel engine functions like a diesel engine. The gas is injected with the intake air, and combustion occurs when a small amount of diesel fuel is injected into the cylinder. If biogas is not available, the engine can run completely on diesel fuel.

The Valtra N101 tractor has 110 horsepower, is equipped with a front loader, front linkage and front PTO. It is intended as an all-purpose tractor for farms, municipalities and contractors that have the possibility of refueling with biogas while working. The biogas cylinders are situated in a safe location on the right side of the chassis, and the entire installation has been designed in accordance with EC vehicle regulations. The capacity of the biogas cylinders on the first test model is 170 litres, which under 200 bar pressure corresponds to approximately 30 litres of diesel fuel. In typical use, this is sufficient for three to four hours of work. View the biogas tractor brochure.

“State-of-the-art technology has been employed in Valtra’s biogas tractor. Both the diesel and gas injection systems have their own electronically controlled common rail, which allows the ratio between the diesel and biogas to be optimized,” explains Jari Rautjärvi, Managing Director of Valtra. ” Source: AGCO is committed to supplying progressive farmers with high-tech solutions and to develop environmentally friendly technologies.

What are some of the ways you use renewable natural resources on your farm?

Farming Prevents Allergies?

A recent study suggests that children raised on a farm are shown to have a lower risk for developing allergies.

“Dr. Jonas Eriksson of the University of Gothenburg and colleagues found that people who spent the first five years of their lives on a farm were about 20 percent less likely to have itchy, runny eyes and noses due to allergies, from age 16 up through to age 75.

So-called allergic rhinitis has become increasingly common since the mid-20th century, Eriksson and his team note, although the reasons for the increase are unknown. A study they conducted found nearly 30 percent of adults in West Sweden had the condition. “The prevalence found in this study is high, but in some countries, e.g. Australia, even higher prevalence has been reported,” Eriksson told Reuters Health via e-mail.

A number of studies have found allergies are less common among children and adults raised on farms but it has not been known if this protection lasts into middle and old age.

To investigate, Eriksson and his colleagues surveyed 18,087 residents of West Sweden about their respiratory health and whether they lived on farms as children. They also looked at whether living in a more urban setting during adulthood affected allergic rhinitis risk.

Twenty percent of people who had lived on a farm up to age 5 had allergic rhinitis, compared to 28 percent of people who hadn’t been raised on a farm. The effect was strongest among 16- to 30-year-olds (20 percent vs. 31 percent), and weakest among 61- to 75-year-olds (17 percent vs. 19 percent).” Source: Farm kids at lower allergy risk, even in their 70s

What are some other benefits of raising children on a farm?

*Photo by Grant MacDonald

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