Read It and “Sweep” — Meet Our Sweepstakes Winners

The first-of-its-kind ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler demo sweepstakes kicked off at National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, this past February with scores of interested farmers vying for a first-look. The contest promised its winner (chosen at random) a trip for two, to Vermeer headquarters in Pella, Iowa, for a tour and test drive of the ZR5.

Out of more than 1,100 entries, Andy and Kayla Smidt from Trumbull, Nebraska, were the lucky ones to get the call. Andy, a 20-year haymaking veteran, was surprised to see a call from Pella coming in on his cell phone the day he was informed he had won.

“I was excited — I mean who wouldn’t be?” Andy said.

The sweepstakes trip started with the tour of the Vermeer plant facilities in Pella, where the Smidt duo witnessed the Vermeer craftsmanship at work.

“(Vermeer) seems to be a very family-oriented facility that gives its workers opportunities to make working for them easier,” Kayla, who also works with Andy in the fields, said. “That was nice to see, because if you don’t start with quality parts and quality workmanship and quality materials you’re not going to have a quality product at the end.”

After the tour, the Smidts hit the demo field to each take the ZR5 for a spin themselves. A few of their favorite ZR5 features included: the zero-turn maneuverability, the quality, smooth ride and the quarter-turn bale ejection.

“I think the ZR5 is awesome — it’s revolutionary and Vermeer just kicked that football right between the goal posts,” Andy said.

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