More Work with Less Labor on This Family Farm
-- Customer Story
Brothers Jim and Steve Fontaine operate a dairy, with help from Jim's son Jacob and their father Ed, just outside the town of Strykersville, N.Y. It's a family business, and at 300 cows that feed off 900 acres of combined corn silage and haylage, Jim says, “Everybody asks me, ‘When are you going to get bigger?’”
“Jim, Jacob and I are the only ones that milk,” says Steve. “We know what’s going on with the cows.”
“I don’t really care to get bigger,” Jim says. “I milk my own cows.” That approach is an important reason the family dairy wins quality awards year after year.
When Jim Fontaine says he’s not interested in getting bigger as a business (see their full story here: http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/a-family-farm-in-the-economic-sweet-spot/), it doesn’t mean he and brother Steve aren’t growing their equipment inventory. In fact, their do-it-themselves approach to efficiency means the equipment needs to work harder, cost less to run and go easier on the operator.
That’s why they converted from another brand to a shop full of AGCO solutions, including equipment from Massey Ferguson®, along with Challenger®, Hesston by Massey Ferguson®, Sunflower® and White Planters.
Their Massey Ferguson tractors feature a CVT transmission, and with that, “the front-end suspension and the cab suspension, it’s just a good package because it’s all working together,” says Jim.
Adds Steve: “You get out of the tractor and you can stand up straight,” he laughs. “Nothing hurts on your body.”
The CVT transmission helps save fuel on the road too. “With the other brand of tractor, to get to the full road speed, you got the rpm all the way up to 2,200, 2,300,” says Jim. “With the [Massey Ferguson] tractors, you can have your rpm at 1,500 and still go 35 mph.”
When the brothers were last looking for a baler, they decided on the Hesston 2170XD. “It makes a nice bale, it doesn’t fall apart, and it weighs 1,200 pounds versus the small ones that weigh 900. There are less bales to store and haul,” says Steve. And it’s better for bunk too. “You carry two bales out, and you have more hay on the bunk for the TMR mixer,” he says.
To read more about Fontaine Farms, check out the full story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/a-family-farm-in-the-economic-sweet-spot/.