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There’s probably no tractor brand that can compete with the precision of Fendt’s Vario transmission.

Harald Skagemo, Vet & Farmer, Meldal, Norway - Fendt 300, 500 Vario

There’s probably no tractor brand that can compete with the precision of Fendt’s Vario transmission.

The vet turned farmer

Together with his wife, vet Harald Skagemo lives and works on a farm in Meldal, an hour south-west of Trondheim. “As long as I can remember, I always dreamt of being a vet and working with big animals,” he says. He uses a Fendt 313 Vario and a Fendt 516 Vario to manage his mixed farm of grassland (35 ha of which he owns and 50 ha he leases) and 400 ha of forest. They also keep 60 dairy cows, 100 cattle and 15 sheep. “The sheep are just for fun,” laughs Skagemo. His wife, Sigrid Johane Muan Skagemo, grew up on the farm, which the couple took over 16 years ago. His wife has been running the business full-time ever since, but Harald Skagemo also puts his every spare minute into the farm.

Versatile and precise

A Fendt 313 Vario joined the farm in spring 2017, and has already clocked up 1,700 hours. Before, they had a large 6-cylinder 200-hp tractor but they were on the lookout for a more manoeuvrable model. The winner of ‘Machine of the Year 2017’ was just what they needed. Harald Skagemo wasn't surprised that the Fendt 313 Vario won ‘Tractor of the Year’ at EIMA 2018. “There’s probably no tractor brand that can compete with the precision of Fendt’s Vario transmission. The Fendt 313 Vario is extremely versatile, so I use it for sowing, fertilising, ploughing and even loading round bales. It also needs significantly less fuel – which of course makes me very happy!”

Since the vet/farmer works an average of eight hours every day, reliability and working comfort are crucial to him. “I'm not getting any younger and working both on the farm and at the practice is hard, but I love what I do. That's why I decided to use a Fendt. I was so pleased with it that I bought a new ProfiPlus Fendt 516 Vario model this October,” explains the Norwegian. He uses the new Fendt 516 Vario on his farm, as well as to maintain roads and paths with a specially-made attachment.

Keeping the roads clear

In the winter and although they have the two Fendt tractors, the Skagemos need help to carry out winter service work. Their farm is located up a 4.5 km long mountain track with 90 wooden houses. In the winter, up to 1.5 m of snow can fall here. So, they enlist the help of a neighbour and his Fendt 724 Vario, plus a large snow blower to clear the road to their farm. “It's extremely hard work. That's why our neighbour works with the 700-model, because it has the right amount of power needed. Back in the summer, he programmed in our road by GPS and can now clear the snow away down the last centimetre, despite thick snow cover,” says Skagemo, explaining how the VarioGuide works. When this work is done, the Skagemos can do the winter service with their own machines until the snow cover becomes too thick again. The Fendt 724 Vario usually comes out twice a year. The last time was the end of April, because, in Norway, snowmobiles are no longer allowed from 30 April, and the roads should be clear again by then.

Animals and farming are obviously close to the Norwegian's heart: “Being a farmer is one of the most beautiful and important professions in the world. Every one of us is dependent on food and every time it's a miracle to experience the birth of a calf or to see the crops and animals grow,” says Skagemo with a passion. “I feel so lucky to be able to witness the cycle of growth, harvest and winter preparations.” There's only one other thing he raves about – his wife. He met the trained nurse while studying in Oslo and after 25 years, the pair are still as happy as the day they wed, enjoying their life together on the farm.