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The Farm Animal Photo Contest is here!

The second annual Farm Animal Photo contest is here! Did you enjoy the AGCO Farm Dog photo contest last year?

This year we’re doing things a bit differently and you can now show off any animal for a chance to win the new iPad! Upload up to three different photos into the contest from now until Thursday, April 19, 2012. AGCO will then pick finalists from the pool of photos, where everyone will then vote for the winner! The grand prize winner will win the new iPad and four of the top finalists will win $25 iTunes gift cards.

Which of your farm animals will you show off? Enter now!

Stay Safe During Winter

We know it may not be winter everywhere right now but please keep these tips in mind during the winter months. Winter brings with it special cold-related problems on the farm. Many activities, such as feeding the cattle and plowing the farm yard must take place no matter what the temperature reads. Farmers must take special precautions so the cold temperatures don’t take their toll.

There are several things you can do to prevent injuries caused by cold weather.

  • Wear warm, loose-fitting, layered clothing, preferably wool. Also, wear water repellent outer garments.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves. Mittens allow your fingers to remain in contact with each other, enabling your hands to stay warmer.
  • Cover head and ears. The head, neck, and ears lose heat faster than any other part of the body.
  • Stay dry.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol actually causes the body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Watch for frostbite and other signs of hypothermia.

If you suspect frostbite or hypothermia, it’s important to:

  • Seek immediate shelter in a warm place if you can’t stop shivering, notice numbness, or become disoriented.
  • Handle any frostbitten area gently. Don’t rub it.
  • Remove cold, wet, and restricting clothing and replace with dry items.
  • Warm the body gradually, not by a stove or fire.
  • Contact your local emergency medical services for help with frostbite or hypothermia.

Farm children are at risk whether they are helping out with the chores on the farm on a cold day or just enjoying the many adventures that might exist on a sunny, but bitterly cold day. Snowmobiling, sledding, or just having a snowball fight with grandpa, could be dangerous. Common sense is key. Children may not be able to identify the signals of danger. Help them stay safe by monitoring their actions frequently. Winter can be a beautiful and fun time of the year to enjoy the farm, if precautions are taken to prevent the cold from endangering those who are experiencing its glory.

For more information on farm safety, visit www.fs4jk.org

What do you do to stay safe in the winter? 

*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids

 

Milestone Reached in Farm Safety and Health Education Effort

We all hear the horror stories of losing a loved one to a farm-related incident. The families left behind ponder what would have happened “if only.” If only he had been more careful, if only she wasn’t in such a hurry, if only we had known.

Moved by stories of farming-related tragedies, Jack Odle, editor of The Progressive Farmer, launched an effort in 1995 to help prevent unintentional death on the farm. This effort evolved to become the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® Program. Now in its 17th year, the effort has reached its one millionth participant and is continuing the mission of eliminating farm injury and death by providing education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities through its Safety Day program.

Today, Safety Days are made possible by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® (PAF), an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a board of directors from within the agriculture industry and an operating budget of $2.6 million. The program’s curriculum has grown from basic farm safety to also include a focus on rural issues like hunting, ATV usage and even childhood obesity. While the Foundation’s leadership is proud to hit the millionth participant mark, they stress there is still much to be done. PAF hopes to reach its second-millionth participant within the next 10 years.

“The number of children injured each year on farms has declined 59 percent since 1998, but there were still 15,012 farm injuries to children reported in 2009,1” says Bob Marshall of Bunge North America and PAF board president. “We view even one injury as one too many. The educational outreach of the Safety Day program is one of the efforts that has made this decline possible. We plan to work hard to do even more in the coming 10 years with the generous support of our many new and long-term sponsors who donate both financially and with employee resources.”

In addition to loyal sponsors, the program is largely made possible by a volunteer base that contributes time and skills to help run individual Safety Day events. “We can’t thank our volunteers enough,” says Susan Reynolds, executive director — programs for PAF. “We would not be able to reach as many children as we do without their gifts of time and resources.” In 2011 alone, approximately 18,000 volunteers have helped with PAF efforts. As many as 230,000 volunteers have helped throughout the last 17 years.

The core mission of the Safety Day program is simple: to keep children safe and healthy. By focusing on topics that are relevant to children in rural areas, the Safety Day program has successfully reached over one million children and volunteers, and averages 400 Safety Day events a year, all over North America and the U.S. territories.

For more information about PAF and to support the cause, go to www.progressiveag.org.

Read this entire press release here.

I Moo! Farm themed wedding sees bride, wearing white wellies, arrive on a tractor!

UK Beef farmer Michael Hanson, 26, and surveyor Hayley Morgan, 31, decided they wanted to tie the knot in an incredible way that celebrated their country lives.

The bride arrived at the church on a Massey Ferguson 6400 tractor which transported the happy couple after the service to the Welsh bride’s family farm nearby, to have their portrait taken with a herd of British Blue Cattle.

Michael then drove the couple 28 miles in a farm truck across the English border to the reception at his family farm in Eardisland, where they now live.

The brilliant style continued in the marquee in the ground of the farm, with guests’ names written on cattle ear tags and the wedding cake was even designed to fit within the British Blue theme, decorated with icing figures of their dogs and cattle.

The couple then honeymooned in Texas, the beef farming capital of the world, where they spent three weeks touring cattle farms.

They are planning to spend their wedding money gifts on adding to a new herd of British Blue Cattle. That is not just loyalty to the brand, but also to cattle farming! Did you incorporate your favorite AGCO tractor brand into your big day? Share your photos with us on our Facebook page!

Fendt Pioneer in Australia

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 Holtkamp (left) with Konstantin Blersch, Fendt Product Manager. John was presented with a certificate and model from Fendt at the Elmore Field Days in Victoria, Australia, commemorating his dedication to the brand.

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?