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.
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!
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?
The following post is brought to you by Progressive Ag Foundation in support of National Farm Safety and Health Week:
The 2011 harvest will soon be under way, and with National Farm Safety and Health Week occurring Sept. 18–24 here in the US, now is a good time to remind children everywhere how dangerous grain can be during harvest and throughout the year as it is transported and stored on the farm. Grain safety is often a high-priority topic during Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, which teaches children 8 to 13 years of age things they need to know to remain safe and healthy on a farm or ranch.
Though grain may not seem to be an obvious risk on a farm or ranch, the dangers of grain during harvest, transport and storage may be deadly. Adults and children alike die every year from grain incidents that are highly preventable. 2010 was a record year for grain-related deaths. Fifty-one grain accidents occurred and 25 people died — five being children under the age of 16. The most common occurrences include suffocation when grain bridges collapse, or being trapped by flowing grain or by an avalanche of a vertical grain wall.
Grain safety is a high-priority topic.
“In a matter of 10 seconds, one can lose their life in flowing grain,” says Bernard Geschke, program specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® (PAF). “Across agriculture, grain-related deaths occur far too often, and we believe it is critical to have this often unrecognized danger be a part of our education program.”
What can parents teach their children to help them avoid a grain-related injury or death?
1. Always stay out of and away from grain bins and grain wagons even if grain isn’t flowing. Bridged grain can unexpectedly collapse and submerge humans. It only takes three or four seconds for a human to become completely helpless in flowing grain.
2. Never try to save someone who is being entrapped by going into the grain yourself. Attempting to rescue someone without proper equipment and assistance may result in you being entrapped as well.
3. Always use a harness or rope and have a spotter when walking or working around grain. This way, your spotter can help pull you to safety or stop the flow of grain.
Safety tips such as these are examples of the things children learn when they attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, which are held each year in more than 400 local communities throughout North America. Check out the video below to learn more about the dangers of grain entrapment.
In 1979, Cliff Surle decided to become a farmer in Burley, Idaho. Little did he know today he would be farming around 5,000 acres along with his four brothers on their farm known as Moo Valley Cow Palace. With the help of his Massey Ferguson 8680, Cliff raises many different crops such as potatoes, sugar beets, oats, wheat, barley, alfalfa, corn silage and grain corn. When he is not tending to his crops, he and his family also raise 500 dairy cows. Watch this video to see how Cliff’s Massey Ferguson 8680 helps out on the farm.
Build and price your own Massey Ferguson 8680. How long have you used Massey Ferguson on your farm?