The bold and ambitious Antarctica2 mission to drive an MF 5610 tractor to the South Pole is ready to roll. The team is standing by to fly from Cape Town in South Africa to Novo Base in Eastern Antarctica.
This is the first chapter in an unfolding modern-day adventure story which will see the realisation of a dream for the lead driver, Manon Ossevoort, and an extreme test of endurance for the tractor and the entire crew. Depending on conditions, the expedition is scheduled to depart Novo Base in the latter part of November and reach the Geographical South Pole sometime around mid-December.
In a 5000 km return journey across the unforgiving icescape, Antarctica2 follows the achievement of Sir Edmund Hillary, who drove a specially-adapted Ferguson TE20 tractor to the South Pole in 1958.
This second Antarctic tractor expedition is being organised to highlight the need for the provision of accessible technologies and innovative services to allow future farmers to meet the world’s growing requirement for food
Along with Massey Ferguson which is supplying the tractor, Antarctica2 has enlisted the help of leading industry partners including Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Finance, AGCO Parts, Fuse Technologies and MechaTrac.
“The journey will demonstrate tenacity, engineering skills, reliability, teamwork and achievement,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “The MF 5610 is a straightforward, dependable machine and the members of expedition team bring an ideal range of skills and experience to the project.”
The 2014 Antarctica2 mission to take a tractor to the South Pole emulates the achievement of explorer Sir Edmund Hillary who led the first mechanised expedition to the South Pole in 1958 using a fleet of Ferguson TE20 tractors.
In 2014, 56 years since Hillary’s journey and 56 years since the birth of the Massey Ferguson brand, an MF 5600 tractor will make a similar trek across the ice.
On January 4 1958, driving 28hp TE20 tractors, Hillary’s team became the first overland explorers to reach the South Pole since Captain Scott’s expedition in 1912.
In his now famous telegram he told the ‘Massey-Harris-Ferguson Farming Company’:
“Despite quite unsuitable conditions of soft snow and high altitudes our Fergusons performed magnificently and it was their extreme reliability that made our trip to the Pole possible. Stop. Thank you for your good wishes = Hillary”
At the time, the press described this as the ‘The Last Great Journey in the World’, although the expedition’s official title was The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58. Led by Englishman, Sir Vivian Fuchs, its aim was to be the first to cross the continent overland – 50 years after Shackleton’s ill-fated attempt – while gathering scientific data.
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Massey Ferguson has been recognised by the government of Zambia for its enduring contribution to the country’s commercial development.
Vice President, Guy Scott presented the farm machinery manufacturer with the Award for Long Standing Brand at Zambia’s 50th Anniversary Independence Ball in Lusaka.
Massey Ferguson tractors, harvesting machinery and farm equipment have been helping to develop the country’s agriculture for over 60 years. Today, the brand and its familiar red-liveried machines continue to play a major role in Zambian farming.
MF tractors are the country’s top selling models with an estimated 20% market share. Massey Ferguson is also an integral part of AGCO’s Future Farm and Training Centre initiative based at Chalimbana near Lusaka.
“This Award Ball gives the government an opportunity to congratulate individuals, families, companies and brands on their impact on the economic, social, historical and financial development of our country,” commented Vice President Scott. He said that the government wished to recognise and commend those who have demonstrated “prolonged existence and performance within the areas of commerce, trade and industry and, specifically, those who have maintained excellence and continuity over the years.”
Receiving the award on behalf of Massey Ferguson, Sue Chuzu, Marketing and Communications Manager, AGCO Zambia said: “It’s a great honour and privilege for us to receive the award. We would like to thank the farmers who have supported Massey Ferguson throughout its long presence in Zambia and also the Zambian government for creating a conducive environment which has helped agriculture to thrive.”
Massey Ferguson was one of only four organisations to receive the Long Standing Brand Award
In the year that Massey Ferguson has launched its new and revolutionary Global Tractor, it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the remarkable MF 100 Series.
Known affectionately across the world as the ‘Red Giants’ the MF 100 Series tractors were the first and only truly global tractors. They were designed in Banner Lane in the UK, where they were also built as well as in many factories around the world and more than a million MF 100 Series models were produced in its unrivalled production run between 1964 to 1979.
“The MF 100 Series made a huge and unique contribution to helping mechanise world agriculture and develop farming across the globe. They quickly became the world’s workhorse and many of the original tractors are still hard at work today on nearly every continent,” says Campbell Scott, Director Sales Engineering & Brand Development.
“Today, half a century since the launch of the outstanding 100 Series, Massey Ferguson has again developed a new workhorse for the world. The MF 4700 is designed by Massey Ferguson’s team in Beauvais France and, like the 100 Series, will be also be built at various locations around the world.
“The Global Series is the modern equivalent of the 100 Series and is destined to become the new legendary tractor for a new generation of farmers across the globe.
“These state-of-the-art tractors are the result of a $350 million investment in a completely new, clean sheet design. They are developed specifically to provide utterly dependable operation in a wide range of applications to meet the needs of a diverse range of farmers world-wide.
“The Massey Ferguson Global Series has been designed and built in the 21st Century and is purpose-built for modern applications. While using the very latest, sophisticated engineering and manufacturing tools and techniques, they still retain our traditional straight forward operation, dependability and cost effective operation,” he says.
At first, things look pretty quiet at the dairy, located a few miles northwest of Fort Wayne, Ind.
The only activity, it seems, is dozens of healthy-looking Holsteins with full udders munching feed. Drive a little farther, though, and a long line of parked cars comes into view, as do scores of parents and children walking into an open area surrounded by cattle and cornfields, where the Kuehnert family is hosting its newly initiated fall festival.
For more than 100 years, the Kuehnerts have been farming on this land, where they grow corn, soybeans and hay on 1,100 acres. Their bread and butter, however, is the farm’s 300 mature Holsteins, which produce 7 million pounds of milk a year. Ask fourth-generation producer and family patriarch Al why he added yet another element of work to his day (and night) in the form of a family-oriented festival, and he’ll tell you, “It’s amazing how many people think milk comes from the grocery store.”
Al sees the festival, which his family started in 2013, as a way to educate the general public about agriculture and, more specifically, dairy. The family also uses the festival as a means to promote the dairy products marketed through the 700-member Prairie Farms Dairy cooperative, of which the Kuehnerts are a part
Then, there’s the benefit of introducing the public to Kuehnert Dairy Farm, which supports Al and his brother Stan as full-time farmers, as well as partially supporting the families of Al’s two sons, Nathan and Andrew. All together, there are currently four generations of Kuehnerts working in some capacity on this dairy farm.
Last year, the festival drew 3,500 visitors—no small feat in Al’s opinion. “We had a really good turnout, especially given the bad weather we had every weekend,” he says, and adds that it accomplished job No. 1. “Our main thing with doing the festival is to educate the consumer about dairy and show people where their milk comes from.”
At AGCO, we salute farm families across North America who are involved in pubic outreach in all forms. That’s no small task and one that’s vital to agriculture, present and future.