Posts Tagged ‘tractor’
Leading Australian Shellfish Company Trusts Massey Ferguson Quality in Marine Conditions.
Massey Ferguson tractors are versatile machines usually found working in a paddock, assisting farmers improve efficiencies and output.
But the versatility of MF tractors means that they are also suitable for applications that may seem a little surprising.
Shellfish farming in Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost state, is one such unique application.
With one of the most isolated stretches of pristine ocean lapping its’ shores, Tasmania is the perfect place to farm shellfish and reliable, quality built tractors are needed to do it.
Local Tasmanian company, Shellfish Culture, has been operating Australia’s first Pacific oyster hatchery since 1979. Thirty five years on, the company is at the forefront of innovation and excellence in aquaculture, growing from a cooperative to now the largest shellfish seed producing company in Australia.
Shellfish Culture uses Massey Ferguson tractors in their harvesting and management of oyster farms. Impressed by the quality and reliability of their older MF435 compared to other brand tractors, the company later purchased a new MF2615. Both tractors spend a lot of hours in salt water, instead of high and dry on a paddock.
The tractors are driven from the farm’s beaches into the sheltered water as part of the farm’s regualar operations. They are used to haul oyster baskets and barges back onto the shore and spend many hours partially submerged.
The tractors are washed down daily and checked regularly during routine maintenance by staff and are proving to be reliable workhorses in the corrosive salt water conditions, compared to the company’s previous tractors.
MF tractors are an integral part of the company’s production of high quality oysters that find their way into markets and on dinner plates around the world.
Thanks to the endeavours of a group of Massey Ferguson vintage tractor enthusiasts, over £5500 has been presented to the Diabetes Research Group at Kings College, London.
A cavalcade of 19 vintage red and grey Massey Ferguson tractors completed a 17-mile crossing of the treacherous sands at Morecambe Bay last year to raise money for the charity.
At the head of the convoy was mastermind of the event, 81-year-old retired Massey Ferguson employee Bob Dickman driving his 1954 Ferguson TEF 20 tractor. Massey Ferguson supported the event with the supply of raffle prizes including an all-expenses-paid trip for two people to its tractor factory in Beauvais, France.
Bob was delighted to hand over the cheque to the Professor of Endocrine Biology at Kings College, Peter Jones.
“We were thrilled to raise £5,554.00 which was more than double our original target,” says Bob. “We are also hoping to make a further contribution from sales of the DVD of the Morecambe Bay event. The Diabetes Research Group is doing great work and we are pleased to add to their much-needed funds.”
Winner of the top prizes in the Massey Ferguson raffle were Steve Morris and Alister Renton. Steve, who helped organise the guides for the tractor crossing, is a Type 1 Diabetes sufferer and his family has farmed in the Morecambe Bay area for many generations. Alister is the father of four-year-old Neev who also suffers from Type 1 Diabetes and who waved the flag to set off the tractor convoy on the day.
Time has stopped, he’s in the zone and on autopilot.
Body is square to the jump, knees bent as he pops up and off at 25 mph. Flying high into the air, body twisting, contorting in different directions at once—gazing skyward, blind to the ground and seemingly out of control.
Air squeezes puffs of snow spray out as the board and rider land as one, straight and true. The jump is nailed.
Mitch Keet says he still revels in the feeling of when he has nailed a landing, or “stomped it,” even thousands of successful jumps later. “It feels so good. You just know that your hard work has paid off,” he says.
Growing up on the family poultry and grain farm amid the Canadian prairies, snow-covered mountains and big bodies of water are not exactly something in Mitch’s backyard. The nearest ski hill is more than 100 miles away, and the closest lake about the same distance. Old-fashioned rural ingenuity brought the altitude and wet stuff to the farm near Grandora, Saskatchewan.
During the winter, one of the family’s Massey Ferguson® tractors scoops and pushes snow together to build a small jump beside the poultry barns. An elongated pond of water was dug behind those same barns for summer wakeboarding. With his father, Derick, at the throttle, a homespun, carnival ride-sized winch pulls Mitch through his practice maneuvers for both wakeboarding and snowboarding. He can do more jumps in an hour than he can in a whole day on the natural slopes or water.
Mitch’s wakeboard achievements include being named Saskatchewan Rookie of the Year in 2011 and the Most Improved in 2012. He won gold at the provincials in 2013. Mitch has also achieved membership on Canada’s National Development Team.
Mitch gives much of the credit for his work ethic and the confidence to pull off his amazing areal stunts because he’s been so grounded through his experiences on the farm. The Keet family’s 600-acre farm, Double D Poultry, was started by Mitch’s grandfather David. Derick took over much of the day-to-day work of running the family farm the year Mitch was born.
Every eight weeks they ship 100,000 broiler chickens for processing to the nearby city of Saskatoon. Derick and David handle most of the work using their fleet of Massey Ferguson tractors. Mitch, however, can be counted on to handle a daily list of chores. “I go through the barns and pick up chickens, and when the birds go out, I’ll clean barns and spread straw and dump feed and spread manure, and harvest and combine for long days in the fall,” says Mitch.
While Mitch has his sights set on making the National Pro Team and competing at the world championships, he wants to do it his way. “The farm is the best; it’s open, it’s nice here all year round. And,” he continues, as if divulging the secret ingredient to his success, “the farm, it taught me skills and working, and that kind of stuff. I’ve got a good family, so I don’t want to go anywhere,” he says.
Mitch said being raised on the farm with chores and parents who take the time to teach him has made him both tougher and definitely more confident. “I’ll always remember that my dad taught me how to drive a tractor. He taught me how to drive the combine. My father’s confidence in me makes me very much more confident.”
And that attribute, says Mitch, is a big reason for his success, in boarding as it is in life.
On the morning of June 20, Les Smith went into work at Farmway Machinery as usual. No one—not even meteorologists watching the storm systems that were uniquely aligning—anticipated what would happen later that day.
Record-breaking rainfall coupled with snowmelt in the mountains, unexpected wind patterns and large, converging weather systems created an unprecedented storm. With the ground already saturated, the Highwood River, which runs through the town of High River in Alberta, Canada, had nowhere else to go but up and out.
At 7:05 a.m., officials called a state of emergency. First responders did their best to evacuate those stranded by the waters, but by noon traditional rescue vehicles—even boats—could not navigate the swift current of the overflowing river.
“One of the firefighters came up and said they needed something to rescue people from across the street,” says Smith, a combine mechanic for the local Massey Ferguson® dealer. “The tractor they were using was no good because the engine was too low and it was getting water in it. They needed a vehicle with the engine high up.”
Smith, along with other Farmway personnel, including owner Hugh Joyce, waded through waist-deep floodwaters to three Massey Ferguson combines. “The combines are heavy, and they were able to stabilize and not get washed away,” Joyce says. Since the combine’s engine is 12 feet up in the air, it was impervious to the rising water.
The Farmway team, shuttling flood victims in the combine cabs and hoppers, continued their efforts until 10 p.m., when Canadian Forces arrived. Smith estimated that the combines rescued about 1,000 people. “It doesn’t take long to make the decision in that kind of emergency,” Joyce says. “We were trying to do anything we could to help.”
Pets were loaded up too. Children rode in the heated cab. “They were in awe,” Smith says. “We had all the lights in the cab blinking to keep them entertained and distracted from what was going on outside. They loved it.”
Thursday 17 October at London’s Soho Hotel sees the first screening of the brand-new children’s series ‘Little Grey Fergie’ featuring the adventures of a full-size, live-action Ferguson TE20 tractor.
Filmed on location at a Warwickshire farm, this new show is an English version of the popular Norwegian children’s story and TV series ‘Gråtass’. Over the last 15 years, the original story has grown like topsy with not only the TV series but two feature film hits, nine theatrical productions, several more books, DVDs and spin-off articles.
Aimed at pre-school kids, the new adventures of Little Grey Fergie are set on a farm near Coventry in England in the present day with English farm animals, settings and characters.
Production company, Farmyard Stories shot the series on a farm not far from Massey Ferguson’s UK Sales operations at Abbey Park Stoneleigh and only 20 km from the site of the original Coventry factory where the TE20s were built between 1946 and 1956.
A new star for the series is a shiny red, ultra-modern MF 7600 which adds 21st century tractor power to the narrative. Creator of the programmes, Morten Mycklebust is very excited about the launch of the new series. “Massey Ferguson is one of the world’s most recognised brands,” he remarks. “We’re really pleased that our films are giving a completely new generation of youngsters the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the brand and its history.”
“We fully support the development of the Little Grey Fergie character,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Brand Development Manager. “The stories are captivating and we’re sure kids and their families will love him.”
The films have no dialogue – the tales are told through action, sound effects and music – so they will be understood all over the world. You can watch the first adventure at www.littlegreyfergie.com from 18 October.