Hay Day at St. John is opportunity for farmers to test drive new ag equipment

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Zach Wilson (BTI) visits with Derek Waters (St. John) as they look over the John Deere W235 windrower prior to demoing it during BTI’s Hay Day event on July 28 just north of St. John along U.S. Highway 281.
An early-morning, summer fog lifts slowly over a hay field north of St. John on Wednesday where BTI equipment stands ready for special Hay Day exhibition.

When the summer fog lifted on a prairie hay field north of St. John last week, area hay producers and curious onlookers got a chance to view new John Deere hay equipment up-close and personal along U.S. Highway 281, courtesy of Bucklin Tractor and Implement Company (BTI).

"We like to do this every year and actually were scheduled to do this in May, but the weather did not cooperate," said BTI Director of Marketing and Public Relations Scott Goodheart. "Right along the highway here we bring in those who planned to come visit as well as onlookers driving by."

Not only did those who stop get to check out the windrowers, balers and tractors at July 28 Hay Day, they were also given opportunity to drive the big green machines, to test them out to see what it felt like to be in the driver's seat.

"Just like if someone is interested in a vehicle at a car dealership, they usually are not going to buy without a test drive," Goodheart said. "These community hay days give us all a chance to have a personal interaction with customers as well as see what's new in the industry."

A W235 windrower and a 560M round baler showcased some of the new trends in hay production, an industry which thrives in the St. John area and central parts of state.

"We had more than 40 customers stop by and try out the machines," Goodheart said. "Most of them were still busy putting up their own hay, but we appreciated them making us part of their day."

One farmer drove all the way from Hoxie to try out the new Deeres, but there were many more from the local area who checked in while they were going about their own farm duties, Goodheart said. Many of those who stopped were entered in a raffle for special John Deere support items.

Goodheart said another reason farmers stopped what they were doing to check out new farm equipment was because John Deere offers deep discounts at events such as the St. John Hay Day to those considering a trade-in or potentially in the market for a new piece of equipment.

"No matter what color equipment you drive, sooner or later, the bottom line is that there is going to be a breakdown," Goodheart said. "What we promise at BTI is that we will be there to provide parts and service options. That's where we excel."

All in all, Goodheart said it was a good day to be in the hay field last Wednesday.

"We enjoy just dogging and harrassing each other about the color of equipment people work with," he said. "It's a fun day in a business that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. We are just trying to make it easier."

Raffle winners for the day were Rick Hiss of Great Bend who won a John Deere electric grease gun and Marlynn Spare from St. John who won a John Deere moisture probe.