In the heart of Mpumalanga, just outside Lydenburg on the farm Enkeldoorn, the AGCO power engine of the Massey Ferguson 7620 rumbles. It is the most recent addition to Jaco Coetser’s farm, but before that, there were many other MF tractors that tread deep footprints on his farm.

Jaco was born and raised in the Badfontein area where his father and grandfather farmed. “I grew up with the MF 188 and the 290s in those years,” he recalls. “We had a bunch of them on the farm. At that stage we drew three-shear ploughs with them.”

Jaco Coetser.

When the Braam Raubenheimer Dam (today the Kwêna dam) was built in the early 1980s, the government bought out a piece of the farm in Badfontein and then Jaco’s grandfather, Giel, bought Enkeldoorn. His grandfather died in 1996, and his father in 1997, and that’s how the farm ended up in his hands.

“The farm has changed a lot since I took over from my grandfather,” Jaco explains. “When I took over it was mostly dry land cultivation and cattle. Since then, I added irrigation for wheat in the winter.”

Lydenburg’s surroundings are very mountainous, and this means that farmers often have multiple small fields to cultivate. “We don’t have large fields like the Free State, so we have small fields where the smaller tractors fit better.”

In that district, there are also mainly smaller farmers who cultivate around 200 to 300 hectares. However, Jaco is blessed to farm on almost 1000 hectares.

Massey Ferguson from then to now

“When I arrived on the farm in 1997, I inherited an MF 2720 along with a reliable MF188 and so from there we upgraded. First from the MF 650, then the MF 680 and later the MF 6495. Now we are moving to the 7700 series. The little ones must have bought the big ones,” he smiles.

Jaco tells that the small tractors are very practical in his area. “You can use it to drive around the farm, feed the cattle and pull a baler. We mostly use the big tractors for soil preparation and to pull the no-till planters.”

There are several reasons why Jaco still relies on the Massey Ferguson Brand for so many years. “First of all, the diesel consumption is very good, especially on the bigger tractors.” he says. “Then, the technology that the manufacturer adds to their equipment, and finally the reliability of the machines.”

“The large models on the farm are particularly reliable – there are no problems. My down time is very short.”

Pulling, ploughing and planting, the MF 7620 works hard and faithfully on Enkeldorn.

Large footprints on Enkeldoorn with Lybasol

Every tractor on Jaco’s farm was bought from the Massey Ferguson dealership, Lybasol, in Lydenburg.

“My grandfather apparently bought the MF 188 from the dealer in town between 1978 and 1981. It has already worked hard, drawing the three-shear ploughs, but now it mainly draws the feed mixer and the slasher.”

According to Jaco, his relationship with the dealer is more like family. “I remember being there as a child with my grandfather and father and I actually grew up in the back of the storerooms and between the Lybasol shelves. Francois Potgieter is with me about two to three times a week to drink coffee and look at the tractors.

“If you buy a Massey Ferguson from Lybasol, you get reliability, good service and they are on the farm often – they actually visit too often!” he teases.

“You can just pick up the phone anytime and receive help, even if it’s after hours. They unlock the doors, get the parts and bring them to you. It’s great to have them as a dealer,” Jaco emphasizes.

Over the years, many tractors have been added to the Coetser farm – all Massey Fergusons. On the left stands the MF 650, and on the right the MF 6495 shows off.

At your service for over 60 years

Francois is the managing director at Lybasol. He has been walking this path with the Coetser family for many years. “I, myself, saw how uncle Giel ploughed with the three-shear ploughs with the MF 188 and then later the MF 290s. I saw how a Massey Ferguson helped to tame this farm as well as some of the other lands they also have, establishing themselves and moving forward to finally make Jaco the successful farmer he is today,” Francois testifies.

Just like family. Francois Potgieter, managing director of Lybasol, regularly stops by Enkeldoorn to visit Jaco Coetser and his tractors.

“My feeling is that MF set up and established farming in South Africa,” he reckons. “It gave me an opportunity to build my business, take care of my family and for that I am eternally grateful.”

Lybasol acquired Massey Ferguson dealership during the early sixties. This makes them one of the oldest MF dealers in South Africa.

Francois shares his opinion about the dealer’s approach to service. “Look, Lybasol tries not to always be the cheapest, because that’s not possible. However, our strength all these years has been our spares and service.” He further confesses that his approach may be unconventional. “Actually, from a business point of view, we keep too many parts. But we like that we can give a farmer who walks in here whatever he needs. Should we not have something available for one reason or another, we will get our hands on it as soon as possible.”: This is the strong point on which Lybasol have concentrated over the years. “We know that farming must be able to be kept going,” he adds.

Jaco says the following about the brand: “I think MF will always be on the farm. They bring out new technology and developments every year. Massey Ferguson is at the forefront of technology, and I think my son, Jerrie, will also continue with Massey Fergusons on the farm,” he dreams about the future.

Between the mountains and valleys of Mpumalanga lies Enkeldoorn’s fields.

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Want to see more? Watch Jaco’s story on YouTube: