AGCO application equipment dealers from across the country fine-tuned their knowledge of spraying and fertilizing equipment during AGCO Academy-sponsored classes held recently at the company's engineering and training facility in Jackson, Minn.

The application equipment classes have been developed as part of an overall curriculum offered through the AGCO Academy. Classes are set up in university format, and credits are earned for each completed course. The entire program is designed to provide hands-on intensive workshops for dealers to advance their skills and knowledge in all aspects of their equipment business.

The first two-day application equipment course was offered four times in March. The second series of classes were held in April and continued to build on the curriculum offered through the first series of classes.

In addition to providing an overview of the entire application equipment offering, the March sessions covered the specifics of recent innovations to the chassis, systems and controllers on the RoGator high-clearance sprayer product line.

"The AGCO Academy is the company's initiative focused on dealer training. These sessions were designed specifically to equip application equipment dealers and sales representatives with a thorough understanding of the company's newest application equipment offerings," says Steve Koep, vice president, AGCO Application Equipment Division. "Training is an integral part of our business, particularly during the realignment of the Ag-Chem sales and service network, and it supports our commitment to ensure local dealers are the premier application equipment specialists in the industry."

During the Academy-sponsored classes, several dealer representatives from across the country participated. The sessions included a mix of classroom and hands-on training, including ride and drive time. Attendees represented dealerships that have responsibility for new machinery sales of Ag-Chem's RoGator high-clearance sprayers and TerraGator flotation applicators. In addition, these dealers also provide mobile maintenance and repair service for existing Ag-Chem equipment.

Realignment of the Ag-Chem sales and service network began in 2007. This new approach to business is being built around requests from ag retail customers and large producers. It puts responsibility for all Ag-Chem sales and service functions in the hands of dealers; and focuses on maximizing uptime and operating efficiency for customers during the busy application season.

"The goal of the AGCO Academy is to provide dealers with the tools to become an asset that ag retailers and farmers can rely on," says Tim Miller, manager of the AGCO Academy. "We want to help them be more than sales people, but also advisors and consultants who are helping customers grow their business."