Massey Ferguson continues its proud support of the Collingwood Children's Farm with the loan of another new tractor.
The latest model, the 100 horsepower MF 4610 is the third tractor Massey Ferguson has loaned the farm in their eight year partnership, which replaces the farm's 82 horsepower MF 4708.
Nestled on a bend of the Yarra River, Collingwood Children's Farm is only 5km from Melbourne's CBD. Established in 1979, it's the oldest continually farmed land in Victoria and serves as a not-for-profit organisation providing country experiences for those who may never get the chance to step foot on a farm. The modest 10 acre land, complete with paddocks, vegetable gardens and hay sheds aims to connect city people with the land, animals, farm life and the community.
The Collingwood Children's Farm is a unique organisation that Massey Ferguson shares the same values of farming and community. "It's all about forming connections with the land at Collingwood Children's Farm. Whether it's as simple as a cuddle with a lamb in spring, or teaching school children about the paddock-to-plate process and sustainability," explains Warwick McCormick, Vice President and Managing Director, ANZ & Far East, AGCO. "By enabling these opportunities, the farm helps people become more aware of the agricultural industry and better able to make the connection to where their food comes from". The farm is a popular attraction for Victorians and interstate & overseas travellers with in excess of 15,000 visitors annually.
The farm has the broader community at the heart of its philosophy and in its daily functions, it provides a space for those with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds to come and get some hands on experience. "We are really proud to be associated with the Collingwood Children's Farm, they do such a great job with disadvantaged and disabled people," says McCormick. An initiative run by the farm which promotes inclusiveness is the Ride Develops Abilities (R.D.A.) program, teaching those with disabilities to ride horses and giving them a chance to experience independence and freedom.
The use of the tractor is received warmly by the staff and volunteers at the Collingwood Children's Farm. "We're a small community organisation - we don't have the budget and without AGCO's support, we just wouldn't be running it," explains Steve Costello, Community Engagement Supervisor, Collingwood Children's Farm. The MF 4610 serves multiple purposes on the farm such as assisting with the slashing of paddocks, hauling tools and the crowd favourite; the tractor rides around the farm. "We love hearing stories about how the tractor lights up the faces of the farm's visitors. For many of them, this is the first time they've seen a tractor in the flesh and they're always fascinated by how it works," McCormick adds.
Massey Ferguson donated the MF 4610 to the farm with the help of local dealer, Darmac Ag located in Silvan, Victoria. The team at Darmac Ag helped get the tractor ready and delivered to Collingwood Children's Farm as well as providing training for farm staff about their new ride.
The new MF 4610 is already out working the paddocks at the Collingwood Children's Farm and Massey Ferguson looks forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.