By Tom C. Doran
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- AGCO Corp.'s 2016 "Operator of the Year" sees the new Application Training Center as an opportunity for learning the business the right way.
Tony Kornder of Belle Plaine, Minn., now in his 20th year as a custom applicator with Genesis Growing Solutions, Le Sueur, Minn., was at the June 12 grand opening of the facility that reached fruition through a collaboration between AGCO, the Asmark Institute and others.
The one-of-a-kind facility hosts four-day comprehensive courses with classroom, hands-on training and a ride-and-drive challenge. The course is open to anyone involved in crop production across the nation, from farmers to beginning professional applicators.
What do you think of this new facility?
This is a nice set up. There's a lot of technology. The obstacle course looks pretty awesome. This looks like something the industry needs.
I've trained a lot of applicators in our organization. Learning it the right way is important, starting off on the right foot, then you don't have any bad habits to break. I think this is exactly what they're looking for.
The industry needs this with more and more regulations, more and more liability and things like that. I think it's a great thing. This is a great facility.
I encourage co-op organizations to send guys here for training. Brand new guys, guys with a few years of experience, they should check it out.
What training did you receive when you first started in the business?
When I was at Willmar Tech, they had a general cooperator course, and they had some classes and some equipment there and classroom stuff.
I was quite fortunate. Mark Schultz, who is still a co-worker of mine, showed me the importance of squaring off corners, mixing, loading, densities on fertilizers and things like that. He took a lot of time with me. He was a very good teacher, and when I train new guys, I remember how I was taught and try to do that and then some.
What advantages do you see in the first of its kind ride-and-drive course on the facility's grounds?
They've got tight corners, they've got woods, they've got a railroad crossing, they've got road approaches, they've got an incline and all the kind of stuff you're going to run into.
I know the first time climbing into something this big and this tall, you get on even just a small incline, and if you're not used to it, you may think you're going over. It's not the case.
If you were in a car with the same incline you wouldn't think twice, but just the size and scope of things this will work really well.
What kind of changes have you seen in the industry over the last two decades?
There have been so many changes in regulations and liability from homeowners, traffic which is big issue with a lot more vehicles on the road and people going faster. The equipment is bigger. Our insurance groups' biggest amount of claims now is traffic with our equipment or tending vehicles on the road.
I came in when Roundup just came on. Now we're coming around where Roundup is just a nice little add-in and we have to do some other things.
I came in on the cutting edge of technology with the Roundup trait, and now I've seen GPS, variable rate and auto-steer come through and now you've got an autonomous tractor over there in Case IH.
Tom C. Doran can be reached at 815-780-7894 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at: @AgNews_Doran. "I encourage co-op organizations to send guys here for training."
Tony Kornder, custom applicator
Genesis Growing Solutions
© Copyright 2017 Indiana AgriNews, All Rights Reserved., source Newspapers