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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Long Live The Family Farm

Here are some family farm photos for you. So there are still some poor suckers using AGCO orphans!


(Note: Photo's are not from 1980...)





AGCO wants to connect with farmers. They have a shill on the NewAgTalk website. Oh, and they have a blog. And A picture site. Wonder how long that will stay around...




Was just looking at photos on AGCO's website. http://www.longlivethefamilyfarm.com/ Ed Winkle did a blog about the site on his blog. (http://hymark.blogspot.com) For his efforts he got a plug on another AGCO website (http://agcodtb.blogspot.com/)
Ed seems to be a pretty positive sort of guy, while traditionally here at the Daily Strumpet we have pretty much thrived on finding the black lining to every silver cloud. Back in the day of the paper publication of The Daily Strumpet, much of the humor was gained for finding the odd little tidbit and blowing it completely out of proportion...
So, I suppose I should do a quick history of Moline and post some photos over at the Long Live the Family Farm website.
The problem is that I really don't like Agco. I never liked White. I did have some admiration for a company that could take two companies, Oliver and Minneapolis-Moline, and totally alienate their most loyal followers in the course of a decade. They were able to take two companies which had something like 10 percent of the tractor market each, and merge them into one company with like seven percent of the market.
I did like White-New Idea. It seemed like they were really trying to build on the old lines. I thought the White American series was a pretty neat line. The last small tractor really built in America, I guess that is not a good advertising slogan. I wish they would have rebuilt the M670 Moline or G1000 rather than the Oliver 1800 but I appreciated the effort. I still dream of having White American's with FWA and Cabs pulling my hay equipment. Of course I was totally broke at the time the White American came out.
The merger with AGCO was a dark day in my new found White appreciation. It would seem that Agco's goal is to become the General Motors of the farm equipment business. Instead it seems more like the American Motors of the ag industry. They have bought up legions of small line manufacturers and made them disappear. Sure there are a lot of logos on the AGCO heritage site but that is basically all they are. Just logos...
So now we have the Long Live the Family Farm site. Just what does that mean? There are no family farms of the sort represented by old calendars and Marx play sets.
I live on a "family farm." We are going broke farming 400 acres. We got rid of the cows because we are off the farm doing custom baling and planting to hold of going completely broke, and we don't have time for the livestock. We don't all come in for a big dinner, we don't milk 10 cows, but we do run old Minneapolis-Moline and White equipment. Does AGCO really care? I think if they did they perhaps would not charge $800 for a hydraulic valve or $100 for a valve rebuild kit.
And then there is the issue of Hesston. I understand the disappearing brands. After AGCO concentrates really hard on a brand, gets rid of the old engineers, cheapens the construction, irritates the customer base, then they have to retire it. The key to understanding when this is going happen is to watch for the last gasp advertising campain where they tout the "Heritage" commitment of AGCO and it's love of small farms which still use, for example: Hesston products.
MasseyFerguson was one of the best selling world wide brands. But, really it was the only brand AGCO had not completely ruined by associating its name with. So it has become the final target of destruction. (Although, I see all Orange on the new AGCO websites. So perhaps they think people have forgotten the royal screwing all the AC owners got back when the signs were all green and the old dealerships were forced out of business.
So, there is no more Hesston. My grandfather worked for the fellow who started Hesston. (Was a while back.) I switched to Hesston when I bought my first real (meaning expensive) mower. A Hesston 1340. It has been an excellent mower and the parts prices were at one time so affordable I could actually run it. Later I bought a Hesston 4690 three tie baler, also a very good buy. (I hear Hesston will discontinue the three-tie baler soon). Almost bought a new 1345 but didn't want on that said Massy-Ferguson on it. So I bought a Great Plains drill instead...
Then there is the White corn planter. The White planter is considered one of the best planters on the market. It has a very loyal following-so why would you rebrand it MF? Hesston has a long line in the hay business, MF does not... So the obvious choice for AGCO... Rebrand Hesston.
Or what about this for an idea. Sell Yellow tractors to Cat industrial dealers so that they can COMPETE with AGCO and Hesston dealers who have been struggling to promote their brands for years. That is sure brilliance!
Anyway, perhaps I'll post on the site anyway. DOn't think I'll get a link back...

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