Starting in January in 2010, Precision Planting launched a new way for the company to reach farmers. With a custom-built 53' trailer, they hit the road with the Planter Technology Institute.
The mobile unit coverts into a classroom for up to 60 farmers. The presentations include information about the company's products as well as planter setup, metering systems, monitoring systems, row spacing, and variable-rate technology.
"We at Precision Planting are passionate that it starts with the planter," says Gregg Sauder founder and owner of Precision Planting. "We're focused on what it's going to take to get a high ear count."
The three-hour presentation is given twice a day at each stop. With three stops a week, the company plans to canvass farm country. From Wisconsin to North Carolina, the road show has a goal to reach 10,000 farmers in a year.
"This is something my wife, Cindy, and I have talked about for years," Sauder says. "We typically have 2,000 farmers come to our summer meetings in Tremont, Ill. and this is a way for us to travel to the farmer instead of them traveling to us."
Inside the trailer four rows of tiered seating make up a classroom that measures 40' x 22'. A 26' high-definition screen displays a multimedia presentation
"This is a self-contained classroom that we can climate control," Sauder explains. "We've been in 18 degrees below on this tour."
A rotating display in one corner features a demo planter row unit on one side with another row unit on the other side outfitted with the company's products. Opposite of the vertical turntable display is a 4-row modified planter set up to illustrate live seed metering and planter displays.
The multimedia mix in the presentation allows for live demonstrations to be shown across the screen. The trailer is also equipped with wireless internet so the newest addition to Precision Planting's product line up, AutoMap, can be displayed to the entire classroom in real-time.
The events are being hosted by Precision Planting dealers and the presentations are given by a rotating set of Precision Planting employees including district sales managers. Attendees are invited by the dealer hosting the event. The first leg of the tour will concluded on April 4. After planting season the tour will resume until harvest approaches.
"For nine months of the year, we hope to be in farmer's communities talking to them with our local dealer and precision representatives," Sauder says.