Wow, this show is huge and plenty of fun. There’s still time for you to come on over to the Louisville Exposition Center … the event runs through tomorrow and ends with the tractor pull of all tractor pulls. I will be heading back to Kansas in the morning though … as much fun as this is, I really like to spend time on the farm.
I was lucky enough to get some time with friend Rodney Miller late yesterday afternoon. Rodney is a rock star of the agricultural equipment world … his title is CEO of McCormick International USA, but he is still an Illinois (and now Georgia) farm boy at heart. Rodney and I share a passion for vintage International Harvester equipment. Check out Rodney’s blog about spending a precious few hours away from the office putting his International 1206 to work in a Georgia county where farm fields are few and far between.
Rodney and I also believe that developing strong relationships with customers is important in life and for the health of any enterprise. It was a joy to watch Rodney greet folks interested in the McCormick tractor line, enthusiastically autographing pieces of literature, T-shirts and other pieces of memorabilia. How often do you find an incredibly busy and successful corporate CEO in the show booth for eight hours a day several days in a row?
I also spent some time with Peggy Horkan and Paul Williams at the Kubota booth. They gave me a tour of some cool new machines … including a big new M-Series farm tractor, a new RTV with a couple of bench seats, hydraulic dump bed and a mess of other very nice features. I will devote future blogs to some of these products individually. As always, it was fun to visit with folks who are so passionate about their products … and their company. With that kind of enthusiasm, it is hard not to get excited about their brand.
The good folks at Kioti introduced me to their brand new DK50 Hydrostat. This dual-pedal-control hydro features a 49-horsepower Daedong diesel powerplant that meets or exceeds current and near-future emissions rules. This largest cab-equipped hydro in the Kioti lineup comes with tilt-wheel, cruise control, stereo, air conditioning, heat and deluxe suspension seat. It’s not a bad place to spend a few hours by any measure … imagine listening to your favorite Bach fugue while knocking down the weeds in the meadow.
Robert Mullett, president of TYM’s Overseas Business, kindly walked me through the TYM tractor lineup and company history. TYM is the second largest tractor maker in South Korea, and they had been supplying tractors OEM to Mahindra and several other makers. A relatively new brand in North America, I expect to see plenty of interest in this bright red lineup, particularly in the compact and subcompact tractor markets.
Well, it is time for me to head back out to the show floor … I need to catch up with the folks at John Deere and Bobcat and … so many machines, so little time.
See you Monday.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.