“Since childhood, I have been familiar with Massey Ferguson tractors. I grew up with them on the farm, and one thing that I can remember vividly, is that our Massey tractors barely stood in the workshop,” says Rene de Schmid.
Rene grew up on a farm in Namibia, where his father farmed with cattle and sheep. Rene has been running a refrigeration business for more than 25 years, but says farming has always been in his blood. Farming is more than just a job. It is a passion that flows through every farmer’s veins. Some families’ farming operations span over generations between fathers and sons, which is why family ties are a cornerstone of many successful farms.
Rene has two sons, Jean, the eldest, and Chris the youngest. “Jean always wanted to be a veterinarian,” Rene says.
“I remember so well that Jean started planting tomato seedlings here and strawberry seedlings there, and whatever he planted flourished. We have a saying in Germany claiming that someone has green fingers, and that’s exactly how I sum up Jean,” Rene adds.
“Jean enjoyed it so much to see whatever he planted growing and eventually becoming a full-grown plant, carrying fruits. As time went by, Jean had to make some crucial life decisions about his career after school. One day, he approached me and told me that he was not interested in a career as veterinarian, but that he would rather pursue a career in the agricultural industry. That was his passion,” Rene says.
With the limited knowledge that I had in the industry, I asked him to tell me more, and that is how we all got involved. I really want to support Jean to live out his passion to make a success of what he is taking on,” Rene says.
Where it all started
The farming operation commenced towards the end of 2018, beginning of 2019, and is today known as Frumentum Farming, which consists of a personal farming as well as a contracting component.
Jean de Schmid says: “The biggest attraction of the agricultural industry for me, is the fact that you place something in the soil, a small seed, and it has so much potential to grow and flourish if you take care of it and nurture it. Since I can remember, that was the vision that I had, and realising that any business can be compared to a small seed that you plant. If you take care of your business, it will in return also flourish and be productive in the future.”
“We farm in three different regions of Namibia. The maize triangle, as we know it, close to Grootfontein in the northern parts of the country, as well as the Otavi-region, where we mainly irrigate, as well as the Otjiwarongo area, where we plant crops on dryland as well as under irrigation,” Jean explains.
The dream and vision became a reality
“The dream and vision that we initially had, was smaller than what it grew into over the years, and without the help and support from my brother and dad, this dream could have never become a reality. Our initial plan was to produce silage and making bales. It started small and grew much faster than what we ever imagined. Today we are a contracting business producing forage. We make approximately 500 bales per day. This season we made 25 000 tonnes of forage,” says Jean.
Without the right, reliable and affordable equipment, these dreams are only a fantasy.
Relationships are of utmost importance for any farmer – building relationships with the people supplying services and equipment to them, takes any business to the next level. “However, our family’s relationship with Massey Ferguson did not stop at my father’s farm gate,” says Rene.
Why the de Schmids chose Massey
“When we started the business, we had to make a choice about the equipment we wanted to farm with,” says Rene. He elaborates: “A big attraction for us about Massey Ferguson, is the family feeling you get. No matter where in the world you find yourself, Massey makes you feel part of a family. OMT (Otjiwarongo Motors & Tractors) is our nearest Massey Ferguson dealership.”
OMT is also driven by a father and his sons. Rene explains: “The deciding factor for me was the knowledge behind the products and the service. You walk into OMT and you immediately feel welcome. The knowledge available through the father and the sons was the answer we were looking for. The father and sons went through a similar process in a different business sector than what we were going through, and it was a great experience for me.”
The de Schmids started with a Massey 200 series, along with a rake and planter. Today, they own a Massey 4709, two 1840’s, three 6713’s and one with a Quicke bale handler. They also have a 7724 with an Orkel baler, as well as a front and “butterfly” Massey Ferguson mower.
Rene says: “The MF 4709 is a lovely tractor, versatile, and the efficiency of the tractor is astounding. I never thought the tractor would be so efficient and economical in terms of fuel consumption. It is amazing how light the tractor runs and still does its job hundred percent, as it should. My opinion about a Massey is that it is a good product. It is user-friendly, robust and reliable.”
Jean adds: “One of the key factors why we decided on the MF Global series, was the efficiency and fuel consumption of this series of tractors. As it is a workhorse for our tasks here in Africa, the tractors work effortlessly in challenging conditions.”
“An important reason for deciding on OMT as our Massey Ferguson dealer, is the fact that it is not merely a customer and dealer relationship, but rather a partnership. They walk the extra mile for us, they stand in the field in the sun with you, solve problems immediately and are always willing to help us where needed,” says Jean.
OMT’s heart beats Massey
Gero Kopp, Operational Manager at OMT, says: “As a family business we love the heritage of the Massey Ferguson Brand. For the past 40 years we have been part of the 175 years since Massey’s existence. Massey is already part of our being, the blood flowing through our veins.
“The Massey brand and their tractors have proven themselves in our area and essentially helped us build a loyal customer base in our region. We as Massey dealers are confident that the Massey brand will only grow bigger and bigger in our midst. We have that trust, because Massey listens to us as dealers, and they listen to the customers. They are constantly working on bringing new products to the market that meet customer demands, that are built according to the customers’ needs in their specific region.
“With this philosophy, Massey will still be here for the next 175 years,” Gero concludes. Reliability, efficiency, versatility and affordability ensure that the farmer gets the best value for money from his Massey
Ferguson tractor. Integrate this with the company’s policy of building relationships over generations with dealers and farmers, and you have a winning recipe for any farming operation.