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Agrimarketing : May 2008
J et setting, world travel, and global humanitarian aid cam- paigns are more likely to be associated with rock stars like Bono or the Hollywood elite than with a 26-year-old agricultural machinery mechanic from a small German town or a company that designs and pro- duces harvesting equipment. But for ten months in 2007, Matthias Lause of Germany drove a CLAAS tractor into the history books. Lause’s dream was to travel the world by tractor to help needy chil- dren in one of the smallest nations on the African continent, Lesotho, which is surrounded by South Africa. He approached several compa- nies with this idea, but it was CLAAS who recognized the poten- tial such an endeavor had. CLAAS pledged to support Lause’s dream and together they partnered with CARE , an international aid organiza- tion founded to alleviate poverty worldwide, to develop the “CLAAS Tractor World Tour” project. HAVE TRACTOR, WILL TRAVEL After consideration of Lause’s idea, CLAAS set to work to secure more than 50 additional sponsors for this epic adventure. Erika Claas, wife of CLAAS Chairman Dr. Helmut Claas , and a patron of the CARE organization, suggested that CARE would be the perfect partner to bring the idea to life. Together, CLAAS and Lause would raise funds for CARE’s “Gardens for Life” program in Lesotho. The program develops school gardens together with children and young people to improve their nutri- tion and teach them the basics of crop cultivation and harvesting. The Gardens for Life program is espe- cially vital in Lesotho, where a high percentage of children and teens grow up without parents as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Many have taken the role of caretaker in their families and use the new skills to provide financially for other ailing family members. All told, Lause traveled more than 15,500 miles through 24 time zones and 17 countries in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and Africa on his CLAAS tractor. He received sponsorship for each mile traveled as well as one-time dona- tions. Sponsors and donors were sought through an organized appeal to CLAAS employees, customers and the general public, which included exclusive invitations for this purpose as well as e-mail appeals. Donors and others interested in the campaign were able to follow Lause’s journey though an online Web site, www.tractor-world-tour.com, as well as through coverage in local, national and international media. Members of the local media in each of Lause’s stops covered the event in detail, exposing not only the tradi- tional customer base to the CLAAS name, but the general public in each of these areas, as well. Stops included special events in Colorado and at CLAAS of America, Inc. headquarters in Omaha, NE, to diverse venues such as the Grand Canyon, agriculturally-rich south Australia, Singapore, South Africa and finally Lesotho itself, where Lause, accompanied by international media, was able to see the fruits of his labors and meet the children he was helping. 52 AgriMarketing ¦ May 2008 CLAAS PARTNERS WITH CARE TO PROVIDE AFRICAN FAMILIES HOPE by Lynn M. Franzluebbers, Bluestem Marketing LLC Lause’s worldwide trek took him to the Grand Canyon (above) and to CLAAS’ U.S. headquarters in Omaha, NE, that featured a major media event.
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08