February 1st, 2017 | A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Yanmar and MOTHER EARTH NEWS: Building a sustainable future

Since the earliest encounter between Yanmar and Mother Earth News, it was apparent that our missions were aligned. It was exciting for MOTHER EARTH NEWS to find a leading, international company who ascribed to the tenets of sustainability and global community. Yanmar’s commitment to building a positive future has made them an invaluable partner and friend in tackling the issues that make solving the sustainability puzzle so difficult, as well as providing our audience with the tools to help them contribute to building a brighter tomorrow.

“To conserve fuel is to serve mankind.” The words of Magokichi Yamaoka were ahead of their time, and now, more than 100 years later, they are more poignant than ever. The effects of climate change, overpopulation, and the insatiable consumption of natural resources are being felt around the globe. Now is the time for action.

People are seeking solutions and want to learn how to live a more sustainable life. It was with this idea in mind that MOTHER EARTH NEWS MAGAZINE began in 1970, as a way to educate people to live with the land, rather than simply “off of it.” Now 46 years later, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS, bring the magazine to life with a series of hands-on events. In the three years that Yanmar has partnered with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, the help and friendship that they have provided the FAIR has been an invaluable towards the success of educating people about wiser living.

Perhaps Keith Wainwright, Business Unit Manager for Yanmar America summed up our relationship best when he said: “Yanmar Agricultural Equipment has found great benefit from participating in the Mother Earth News Fairs. We were able to make valuable personal connections with the attendees and learn about their lifestyles, and we were also able to show how our tractors are specifically designed and engineered for agri-lifers. Participation has also improved our brand awareness while helping our local dealers increase sales. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership as we spread Yanmar’s passion for the land and share our new tractors and specialized equipment with Fair visitors.”

To date, the FAIR has 6 events throughout the United States, with an average of 15,000 attendees, some travelling hundreds of miles to attend. Fairgoers can attend more than 150 hands-on workshops across 10 stages that cover organic gardening, food preparation and preservation, natural health, renewable energy, homesteading, small-scale livestock, green building, green transportation, and related topics. Local and national experts on sustainable and rural lifestyles lead the sessions. In addition to our workshops, the FAIR has over 300 exhibitors per event offering sustainably-minded products and services, not the least among them is Yanmar.

A Yanmar tractor is more than a piece of equipment; rather it is the physical embodiment of the philosophy of sustainable living. The MOTHER EARTH NEWS audience needs tools that are fuel-efficient and reliable, not only for the sake of sustainability, but also for the sake of affordability. A farm or homestead cannot sustain itself if the equipment it uses consumes massive quantities of costly and environment-harming fuel.

Yanmar tractors are the perfect fit for agri-lifers who have smaller plots and don’t need the gargantuan tractors of industrial farms to get their day-to-day work done.

The Yanmar-MOTHER EARTH NEWS partnership doesn’t end with exhibition. The Yanmar-sponsored VIP reception is an event within an event. The invitation-only reception provides a chance for VIPs and local agricultural organizations to meet one another and network with Yanmar directly. The reception is a culmination of the sustainable living philosophy; food and beverages are sourced from small, local farms as a tangible and tasty manifestation of the potential of independent agriculture.

At recent FAIRS, the Yanmar reception has become even more focused on empowering local organizations by giving them an opportunity to connect with agricultural influencers and FAIR speakers. This past year at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, during the Pennsylvania reception, Yanmar hosted the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). Kim Miller of Kananga Farms discussed how far sustainable farming has come in recent decades and how far it has yet to go toward reforming the modern system of industrial agriculture. Miller was followed by renowned farmer Joel Salatin, who explained that running a farm with integrity takes more than soil and seed; there’s also the human element. Friends, family and their support are an integral part of the sustainability puzzle, and MOTHER EARTH NEWS is honored to have Yanmar as part of their immediate sustainability family.

This past September, Yanmar and MOTHER EARTH NEWS collaborated on an entirely new experience. On a warm, cloudless day in Champion, Pennsylvania, our VIP FAIR attendees were invited to the Sanaview Farms Field day sponsored by Yanmar.

Attendees were able to work on the farm while gaining hands-on experience with Yanmar’s tractors and their versatile attachments. SanaView Farms’ founder, Janet McKee, was a gracious host and allowed Yanmar to bring a handful of tractors to the farm to complete several tasks and showcase the abilities of the various models.

The day began with moving a large hoop house using two Yanmar tractors from one plot of land to another to prepare the crops for the winter season. Attendees then had the opportunity to test-drive the tractors and learn how to operate all the attachments available for the tractors. Three stations were set up so individuals could move hay bales with a hay spear, use a tiller to loosen the soil, and work a pull-mower on a patch of field that needed managing. While many of the Field Day attendees were curious to know more about Yanmar tractors, some were already familiar with Yanmar’s quality and efficiency. One attendee, Tom Tattamer, was already accustomed to the brand, having used Yanmar tractors while working for the Washington’s Crossing Historic Park. “You just can’t kill them, they’re just really great machines,” he said.

Judging from the big smiles throughout the event, it was evident others were coming to the same conclusion about Yanmar’s quality. In fact, one of Sanaview Farm’s neighbors stopped by to see what the excitement was about, and after testing out the machinery purchased a Yanmar SA 424 TLB, pallet forks, and a rotary tiller from the local dealer!

A sustainable future is within our grasp. Yanmar and MOTHER EARTH NEWS are working to arm people with the knowledge and tools to contribute to that future. The missions of our organizations are inextricably linked, by a desire to provide sustainable solutions to the challenges that mankind faces. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was it built alone. A sustainable future will not happen overnight, nor will it be the result of the efforts of one individual or company – or two, for that matter. However, the combined efforts of Yanmar and Mother Earth News are equipping people with the tools they need to build a world in which we can live not just off of the land, but with it.