When you work with something day in and day out you grow to love it or hate it. Well the five finalists in Unverferth Manufacturing's Brent grain cart video contest are definitely having a love fest with these machines. The idea of a customer-generated video contest offers users the chance to tell why they like a piece of equipment or product - it's an idea that's growing in popularity for consumer products. But a grain cart?
Yep, the five finalists have been selected. First announced in June 2011, farmers were invited to capture and share video footage of Brent grain carts and how the product makes harvest go smoother. And make no mistake, contestants took the challenge seriously with production values that would catch the eye of Hollywood cinematographers.
Dan Fanger, vice president, sales and marketing for Unverferth, notes in a press statement: "With dozens of extremely creative entries from across the U.S. and Canada, narrowing down the field to the top five finalists was challenging. We are grateful to have so many customers who take such great pride in their equipment, operations and most importantly, their families."
The grand prize winner will receive their choice of a 60-inch LCD HD television or Mac Toolbox, both valued at $2,500. The second place winner receives a $1,000 Cabela's gift card. The three other finalists will each receive a new Canon HD camcorder for taking their home video to the next level. Though based on what I saw watching these finalists, they're already pushing the envelope for amateur videography.
Here's a look at the five finalists. I'm not playing favorites, they are listed below as they appear on the website with the first being the first on the left side of the page - www.brentequip.com/contest - to the right.
Couser Cattle Company, Nevada, Iowa. This video, which features some top notch production values, has a great sound track and is fun to watch. It shows the cart at work on their grain operation. The video hits all the features and benefits buttons for why the Brent cart works for their operation. You'll see plenty of grain moving in this operation and they use some creative camera angles too. This is a super video that really shows the grain cart at work.
Dietrich Farms, Lucan, Ontario, Canada, has a nice family start that tells of the features and benefits of the carts. Then The River Junction Band song Farm Boy becomes the background music for their video. This piece includes some great camera angles right from the grain cart snout, my guess is they used the Hero hi-def, waterproof camera - very interesting and fun to watch.
For Boyer Farms in Lapwai, Idaho, it's all about the hills and they make that clear from the start. With a stirring, marching band rendition of Orff's Carmina Burana, they show you what it's like to farm in the Palouse - where the word "level" isn't heard very often. They have two Brent carts serving 6 Class 8 combines. If you've not seen how they farm in the truly rolling hills of the Palouse, this is a video worth watching.
Knuth Farms, Mead, Neb., has been a long-time Brent customer, and they show those early carts. With no music, but some great helicopter-generated images, Kerry Knuth tells you about the farm, the value of unload on the go and other features and benefits of having a high-capacity auger cart at work on the farm.
Kohlhagen Farms, Rensselaer, Ind., starts their video with a little rendition of Also Sprach Zarathustra - you know it as the opening theme for the movie 2001, which accompanies that cart as it backs out of the machine shed. When the combine and cart are at work, the jazzy music offers an impression of speed. They have a cute segment where they show the cart starting to unload, then there's a break and the title says "two minutes later" and the cart is finished.
The creativity is super across the board, no way I could pick a favorite, but I'm sure you'll find one. Congrats to the finalists and good luck. Judging has begun at the link above and runs through Feb. 17 (while we're all at the National Farm Machinery Show). Enjoy the videos, I know I did.