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Gleaner will help bring the story of Dust Bowl recovery to audiences across the country as a major sponsor of “Harvesting the High Plains,” a film documentary. The documentary details the story of two men who began farming in 1933 in Dust Bowl–stricken western Kansas. Using never-before-attempted crop production practices, they overcame what were thought to be impossible challenges to reclaim the Plains. In 1947, they harvested one of the largest wheat crops ever raised by a single farming operation of that era.
Produced by Inspirit Creative in cooperation with Wichita Public Telecommunications, the film debuted during November at select theaters in Kansas and Nebraska. Gleaner’s sponsorship of the film documentary is a natural fit, according to Kevin Bien, Gleaner brand marketing manager with AGCO in Duluth, Ga.
“Gleaner combine harvesters were born in Nickerson, Kansas, and the innovation in these early harvesting machines is very much a part of the story told through ‘Harvesting the High Plains’,” says Bien. “This story will resonate with farmers and their families across the nation; and though the time may be different, the challenges remain today. It is a great story of farmers’ perseverance and overcoming insurmountable odds to raise a successful crop.”
Narrated by Mike Rowe, creator and host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” and directed by Colby, Kan., native Jay Kriss, “Harvesting the High Plains” brings to life the story of two men who lived in western Kansas during the 1930s. The story is told through the letters between the men that describe in detail each challenge, failure and triumph of their farming ventures — over 10,000 pieces of correspondence in all. By working with methods such as summer fallow and other dryland wheat farming techniques, the men restored the land and reclaimed the High Plains, helping to make the region the breadbasket of the world.
Gleaner was one brand that brought mechanization to the farm, helping forge change in the agriculture of that day. “The Gleaner name was very prominent throughout our research of this time, and we were thrilled to include a restored Gleaner model ‘A’ in part of the film,” says Kriss. “If you can imagine, at one point during the 1947 harvest, GK Farms had more than 130 custom-operated combines cutting on one given day.”
“Harvesting the High Plains” is currently airing on regional public television stations in the High Plains, and will air nationally on public television in early 2013. For dates and times the film documentary airs, check online at harvestingthehighplains.com.
MF9500 Series Combine demonstrations have taken place across Australian during the 2012 harvest. Hear about the machine’s performance from both owner operators and contractors.
MF 9500 Series Combine, Australian Demonstrations 2012. Part 2
MF 9500 Series Combine, Australian Demonstrations 2012. Part 3
AGCO is a proud supporter of the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Collegiate Scholarship Program. During the 2012-2013 FFA scholarship year, AGCO and 60 local Challenger, Massey Ferguson and Gleaner dealers will distribute a total of 120 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. The local scholarship program which AGCO launched in 2011 has seen tremendous support from dealers with four new dealerships joining the effort for the 2012-13 scholarship year.
“Our dealership has supported FFA in Idaho since the business was founded in 1990. We do so because FFA is a program that addresses the agricultural interests of young people in our communities, many of whom are going to be our top farm operators and customers in the future,” says Cleve Buttars, president/CEO, Agri-Service, a participating dealership headquartered in Twin Falls, Idaho. “AGCO couldn’t have chosen a better agricultural youth organization to support. The company’s sponsorship of local scholarships fits in perfectly with what we were already doing, giving us an additional opportunity to support these youngsters through college.”
On a national level AGCO will distribute 12 scholarships and AGCO Finance will distribute six scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each. The 2013 Scholarship application process opens online November 15, 2012, and applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. EST February 15, 2013. For more details on the scholarship program and a list of participating dealerships offering local scholarships, visit www.ffa.org/scholarships.
“The young men and women involved in FFA are the future of the agricultural industry and are the key to feeding the world whether they return to the family farm after college or get involved with other areas of agriculture,” says Jason Marx, vice president of marketing at AGCO. “We salute FFA for its fine work and are proud to be a part of the National FFA Collegiate Scholarship Program that recognizes and supports these students.” Through the FFA scholarship program Massey Ferguson, Challenger, and Gleaner dealers financially support students through post secondary school to help launch their careers in the agricultural industry. “Agriculture constantly faces new challenges and provides new opportunities, and these scholarship recipients are the future of our industry, thanks in part to the role FFA has played in their lives,” says Marx.
AGCO is one of FFA’s longest-standing sponsors with 2012 representing 67 years of support. During this time, AGCO has provided more than $1.2 million dollars in support of FFA, with individual dealers contributing in addition. Supporting the scholarship program is just one way the company and its employees express their appreciation for FFA and today’s youth. AGCO’s corporate involvement also includes the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., and has a recruiting presence at the Collegiate Career Fair. Marx mentions that many AGCO employees credit FFA with helping them to develop their own skills and lifelong interest in agriculture.
Students receiving scholarships through the National FFA Collegiate Scholarship program are selected based on leadership they have shown in their schools and communities as well as academic performance. Planned majors include engineering, communications, education, business management and economics. Supervised agricultural experience programs and future goals are also taken into consideration. FFA members are trained in leadership, goal setting, consensus building, and problem solving. These students are not afraid to work and know what it means to make a profit. Collectively, FFA members earn $4 billion annually through their hands-on work experience.
For more information about AGCO and its products, visit www.AGCOcorp.com.
In 1979, the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations (FAO) proclaimed October 16th as World Food Day.
Today is a global observance designed to raise awareness and understanding of different approaches to ending hunger. Food is a wonderful thing, and thanks to new technology and innovation in farming practices, farmers today are able feed around seven billion people globally! However, because our population is growing at such a fast pace, there are still roughly a billion people around the world that do not get enough food. This means that almost 1 in 7 people go to bed hungry every night. As our population has grown, hunger has become an increasingly prevalent issue. World Food Day seeks to remind us of this challenge, and also spotlight the different ways in which we can help the farmers tasked with overcoming it. Every year, World Food Day is accompanied with a theme. Last year, the theme was “Food prices- from crisis to stability.” This year, the theme is “Agricultural Cooperatives- key to feeding the world.” As many farmers know, an agricultural cooperative is a member owned organization which allows farmers to pool all of their resources into different areas of activity. According to the FAO, agricultural Co-ops are fundamental in providing solutions to the hunger problem because they allow smallholder farms to negotiate better prices for resources such as seed, fertilizer, and equipment. Take for example one of AGCO’s customers, Agrifirm. Agrifirm is a Dutch cooperative that serves over 17,000 Dutch farmers and horticulturists. They offer “maximum purchasing advantage of high quality products like animal feeds, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.” In addition to product purchasing power, Agrifirm also offers knowledge and sustainable solutions to its members. Cooperatives such as Agrifirm allow farmers to access to knowledge and equipment that will help boost farm productivity at a lower cost. The more that small scale farms are able to produce, the better they will be able to support their local regions. This is why the U.N believes agricultural cooperatives to be a key element in providing for our world. It is no secret that farmers are faced with a huge task in supplying food, fiber and fuel for a rapidly growing population. It will not be easy—but with the proper resources, continued advances in technology, and widespread participation—it will be possible. Learn more about world food day, and see how you can help make a difference!