I grew up on a small family farm in the Midwest. We raised corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, wheat, hay, hogs, cattle and horses. So I learned a bunch about farming and all machines involved. I first saw a compact tractor at the North American Farm Show in Kansas City Missouri in the mid 70s and knew there would always be a lot of potential for compact machinery.
I attended a small technical college in Nebraska and from there went to work as a mechanic in the Texas oilfields. Later in my maintenance career I was offered a job as a mechanic for a gas pipeline where I was introduced to computerized machinery analysis. This was a new field in maintenance and I was hooked from the start. I was able to develop new techniques for machinery analysis and was invited to speak at conferences and conventions which led to opportunities to perform analysis on large marine propulsion engines, 14,000 HP hyper compressors at chemical plants, training and analyzing for our armed forces along with many other companies and individuals world wide.
While traveling I was always involved with agriculture and had the opportunity to learn about farming in other countries. At our small farm in Central Texas, I learned the hard way that small acreage farmers like us have a difficult time trying to get contractors to bale hay when the time is right. What happens most of the time is contractors would bale when it is convenient for them and the result was poor quality hay at a very inconvenient time.
I own a few compact tractors and did not want to go purchase another large expensive tractor to fit a large expensive baler. I started looking for a baler that would fit my tractor. We studied the market potential and decided to become distributors for the compact hay balers. I have found that the smaller hay equipment, not only was a better fit our 21 and 26 hp tractors; it was much easier and less expensive to move from one field to the next and the maneuverability was much easier in hay fields which had many obstacles.
We at S.F.I. try very hard to price this very productive equipment where it is very affordable. We also have found these balers produce bales that are very marketable. For instance, the small square bales work well for women and children. The bales are easier to place on top of horse trailers and children can feed instead of the parents doing all the work. The MRB series work well for baling hay, pine straw, wheat straw and leaves. You can also use them for baling decorative bales. The bales produced by TRB 910 sell very well also, they are larger but yet small enough one person can move them around by hand.
We work diligently to provide our customers support 24/7/365. Many of our customers have never baled hay, we try our best to be a source of information for all task performed in forage production and management. For instance, how do we determine when the hay is ready to cut or dry enough to bale? I ask our customers to call me the day she/he makes that first bale. I prefer to stay on the phone with them until they are comfortable with their equipment or fully understand the process. I have stayed on the phone up to 5 hours with a customer, which now he is a contract baler with a TRB 910. We try to deliver all package deals and usually spend a small part of the day with that customer training them how to operate and maintain their investment. You will find out operating and maintaining these machines is not complicated.
We are slowly building a dealer network which we require our dealers to retain our customer support principles and policies. Our dealers are individuals like us that bale their own hay which may occur on a weekend. The dealers are expected to be by the phone 24/7 ready to provide top quality customer support should there be the need. If you should ever need a part on Sunday at 7:00 PM we will be open.
We appreciate you visiting our web site and if you have a question about anything that has to do with our products or baling hay feel free to call us anytime.
Phil and Sharon Livengood
Small Farm Innovations