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Farm Sustainability Blog Contest: Debra M.

Debra shared with us how she has been implementing sustainable agriculture practices in her farm operations. What are some of things  you’re thinking about, or have had success with?

This fall will be my second harvest since I started calling myself a farmer. And the third season since I started making management decisions on the farm. There is certainly no amount of education that can prepare you for the complexities of farming. In 2010, mere months after unexpectedly losing my father, I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture; majoring in Crop Science. Even with a degree as relevant as that, I still feel entirely lost in our operation.

In the last few years we have tried our best to continue to enhance the sustainability of our farm. We have implemented a flexible crop rotation to decrease pest and disease incidence and better utilize the soil through diversity in crop types and seeding dates. We started soil sampling to better understand the nutrient deficiencies of our fields. We have also made crop checking more of a priority so we can detect pests early and utilize chemical rotation strategies to reduce the chance of resistant populations. It may be a few modest steps toward sustainability, but they have been difficult, yet worthwhile steps up a steep learning curve for our family.

Sustainable agriculture is the key to a very challenging future for our world. If farmers are having a hard time transitioning to management practices entirely different than they are accustomed to, I encourage them to start small.  Although these are modest steps, they are to a view that is entirely worth the effort.

Challenger Supports Soil and Water Management Center in the UK

As preserving water and improving soil becomes increasingly vital, the pre-launch meeting of the Soil and Water Management Centre in the UK supported by Challenger marked an important development for farmers.

Created in response to a report on the current status of soil and water management, the Centre, based at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire in the English Midlands, aims to provide ‘sustainable improvements’ in farming and ecosystem efficiency through better knowledge co-ordination, transfer and development.

Challenger has committed to backing the Centre for three years and will be involved in knowledge transfer days, ongoing research and extensive educational programmes for farmers and agronomists.

“Challenger’s mission statement: ‘Your Soil, Our Territory’ fits particularly well with the project,” explained Martin Hamer, Challenger Manager National Sales, UK. “Our tracked machines are already helping farmers to look after their most valuable resources – the land.”

On Show at the event was a TerraGator 2104 applicator. “Farmers and contractors are looking towards more efficient and soil-friendly methods of applying liquid slurry and other nutrient-rich by-products, and the TerraGator is an ideal method of achieving this,” said Martin. Visitors were interested to hear about how features like the dogwalk steering system could efficiently spread large load weights over the whole width of the machine, rather than distribution only in the tramlines.

Happy International Youth Day!


When looking to build a better future for our world, it is only practical that we consider our world’s youth. Plain and simple, the youth of the world are the world’s future. In December of 1999, the United Nations officially declared August 12th as International Youth Day(IYD).

IYD seeks to highlight good practices in developing and expanding successful partnerships with people. This year’s theme is “Building a better world—partnering with our youth.” The UN is encouraging organizations to form partnerships with the youth. Some encouraged areas of partnership are employment, education, and entrepreneurship.

This summer, I was given an opportunity to intern with AGCO from May to early August.

As my final week as an intern comes to a close, I have had some time to look back on my experience with the internship program. In doing this, I have been able to reflect upon what the program meant to myself and the other interns. Whether it is your first time holding a job, or if you have been in the corporate setting before, the AGCO internship program gives you a chance to better understand the synergies between business, education and employment. My time as an intern has been a great experience. With access to various people and resources, it has given me a hands-on opportunity to apply my education and further develop the skills I will need to be successful in the labor force, and add value to my community.
Partnerships such as the one AGCO has with its interns are instrumental in providing youth with continued education and development. The boys and girls that compose our world’s youth today will eventually be the men and women making our world’s biggest decisions. This is why it is important that they receive support from people and organizations globally.
The U.N wants to hear your thoughts and recommendations about effective ways to support our young people. If you want to offer your thoughts or share your success stories, email them at youth@un.org!


Let AGCO Make a Charitable Donation on Your Behalf

These are the last days of AGCO’s Farm Sustainability Blog Contest. Write a short blog or submit a video post about what sustainability means to you, or on your farm. Winning entries will be posted on the AGCO blog and shared with others. In addition, 10 winning authors will help AGCO distribute $5000 in donations.
With the population growing every day, sustainable farm operations are now more important than ever before. Farmers on the field know sustainability; we want to hear from you.

Sign up here, and share what you have been doing with us!

Last Week to Submit Your Farm Sustainability Contest Entry!

This week is the last week of AGCO’s Farm Sustainability Blog Contest! We still want you to share what you’re doing with sustainability on your farm. Write a short blog or submit a video post on what you’re doing to increase efficiency on your farm. You could also share how you are interacting with your community, or what you are doing to help support your local economy.
We will select 10 winning entries, and those entries will be posted on the AGCO blog so that they can be shared with others. In addition, the 10 winning authors will choose select organizations to receive a total of $5,000 in donations from AGCO!
Faced with the challenge of feeding a rapidly growing global population, efficiency on the farm is becoming increasingly important. We know that nobody knows this better than the farmers on the ground today, and that is why we want to hear from you! Sign up here, and share your story!