Agricultural shows are important dates in the calendar for farmers looking for technical advice and new products. But of course, theres often time at these events for a breather and a bit of fun like entering prize competitions.
So when farmer David Hunt made his annual trip to the Cereals Event in Cambridgeshire last year and saw that assurance scheme, Red Tractor, were running a competition at their trade stand, he decided to try his luck. The fact that the competition prize donated by Suzuki was for a brand new KingQuad ATV struck a particular chord.
Generations of Davids family have farmed their mixed 1200-acre site near Woburn in Bedfordshire since 1924. The farm grows wheat, barley and oilseed rape and has around 2,500 sheep.
So when, just one month before David entered the competition, the farms old ATV had been put permanently out of action, the timing could not have been worse. The farm relies on using an ATV all the year round and one of the busiest times of the year was now approaching lambing season, with nearly 4,000 lambs on the way.
However, good fortune was about to smile on David as his was the prize-winning name picked at random from hundreds of competition entrants.
We asked him to tell us about what the win meant for the farm.
Is having an ATV important for your work?
An ATV is an absolutely vital piece of equipment for our farm. A lot of us depend on it to get us around quickly, especially when we have so many lambs to look after once lambing has finished.
We use it all the time to check on them, as well as for rounding up and for worming and shearing. Plus, an ATV makes catching the odd sheep which may need help or treatment much easier as we can fit a small trailer on the back.
Its also essential for our work with the crops, such as slug pelleting, spraying margins and footpaths, moving scarecrows on oilseed rape, and keeping a careful eye on the growing crops.
In fact, we use it so much that we had to hire an ATV when we lost the old one.
How did you find out that you had won the Suzuki ATV?
Our farm is a member of the Red Tractor scheme, so I just filled out a competition entry form while I was visiting their trade stand at the show and promptly forgot all about it. Then I got a phone call when I was out working in the fields to say that my name had been pulled from the hat as the winner! Obviously any farmer would love to win this prize, but you never expect to win these things, so I was amazed.
What was the first thing you did?
We found the Suzuki to be vastly superior to the old make of ATV we had been using on the farm. So having won a manual version for free, we decided to we could afford to treat ourselves and upgraded it to the KingQuad 500XP with power-steering.
What are some of the best features of the 500?
The great thing about the 500 is the extra power it gives us, plus the electric power-steering makes it really light and easy to manoeuvre around the farm.
Its the ideal tool for any job as its so versatile. It feels incredibly stable and gives you an extremely smooth ride. Its so comfortable too, whether youre riding it for a long time or over rough terrain. Another key benefit for us is that the low ground pressure tyres dont make any marks on the land.
Having a local Suzuki dealer like MKM Agriculture offering fantastic service and support is an extra bonus as well.
Winning this ATV was such a well-timed stroke of luck. It just goes to show that you should enter these competitions as you never know!