Jimmy's Farm, known to millions thanks to the TV programme of the same name, has some new weapons in its educational arsenal - a trio of Kubota equipment.
Kubota Tractor and Groundcare has loaned the famous farm a B2530 compact tractor with power harrow and conventional plough, an M9540 agricultural tractor with loader and an RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle for its new masterclass programme.
The Suffolk-based farm run by Jimmy Doherty comprises 150 acres of land and specialises rare breed pork, sheep, cattle and poultry. It has recently joined forces with specialist seed producers Thompson and Morgan to grow heritage vegetables and fruit. The farm, which is open to the public, also features woodland, a nature trail, petting farm, restaurant, butchery and shop.
Farm manager, Dave Finkle, says that the very nature of the farm with its diverse landscape and wide variety of activities is a logistical nightmare when it comes to choosing equipment. "There are so many different elements to the farm, not just in our produce, but also in terms of slopes, tight turns and restricted space. With many manufacturers you'd need a whole fleet of equipment to cope, but Kubota has managed to cater for all our needs with just three machines."
Jimmy's Farm has now launched a whole range of masterclasses designed to teach pupils the skills they need to manage a farm. Courses include tractor driving, implement operation and set-up, vegetable growing, grassland management and husbandry.
Dave says that the versatile Kubota RTV900, with its powerful 21hp engine, four wheel drive and high ground clearance, is the glue that holds the farm together. "With the advent of all-terrain vehicles, I really don't think there's any place for a quad on a farm anymore and to be honest, the RTV900 is far and away superior to the competition.
"It's the perfect vehicle for a farm like this. It has roomy bench, and the flat bed is ideal for moving feed and equipment around. And if we need to move anything bigger it can tow a trailer with ease and there's no compromise on power even in testing conditions such as going up hill.
"We have the road-legal model, so can use it both on and off-road. It is perfect for beginners as it's very easy to use and auto brakes when you release the throttle which is good.
The Kubota B2530 compact tractor features a 25hp engine, together with hydraulic independent PTO system, bi-speed turn and fully hydrostatic power steering. Jimmy's Farm uses it predominantly for horticulture applications with a power harrow and conventional plough - and says Dave, the B2530 is ideal for implement work thanks to its good range of forward speeds and power to weight ratio.
This is complemented by the larger Kubota M9540, which is used with a loader inside the livestock buildings and, thanks to its low cab height and good visibility, for fieldwork near trees and hedgerows. The 95hp machine combines a high power to weight ratio and excellent manoeuvrability to ensure maximum performance and efficiency.
"The great thing about the M9540 is that it's ideal for novices because it's so uncomplicated, but at the same time, experienced users appreciate its attributes as stockman's machine.
"Its power to weight ratio is perfectly balanced, the instrument panel is uncomplicated, the hitch visibility is perfect and the clutchless forward and reverse shuttle is amazingly smooth and easy to use even for a beginner," said David. "I can't fault it."
"The key reason for choosing Kubota equipment is that they don't compromise on quality. Too many manufacturers focus on quantity or get carried away adding lots of functions and flashing lights, but that only means there's more to go wrong.
"Kubota don't do that - their machines are made to do a job and to do it well, but they're also simple and easy to use. It makes them the perfect combination of working and teaching machine, which is just what we need here on Jimmy's Farm."
Kubota is a world leading manufacturer that has been at the forefront of innovation for commercial tractors, groundcare equipment and ride-on mowers since first entering the UK market more than 30 years ago. The company's product portfolio now encompasses 24 tractor models between 12 and 130hp, 13 ride-on mower models, which cater for domestic and professional users alike and five variants of the class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle.
Kubota machines have a legendary reputation for quality, performance, reliability and ease of operation. This is backed-up by a national network of specialist dealers who provide the highest standards of advice and aftersales service.
For more information about Kubota Tractor and Groundcare's agricultural tractors, as well as its compact tractors, ride-on mowers and all-terrain utility vehicles, or to find your nearest dealer, call + 44 (0)1844 268000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kubota.co.uk.
Image: Farmer and TV celebrity, Jimmy Doherty is pictured with the Kubota Tractor and Groundcare equipment loaned to Jimmy's Farm for its new masterclass programme.