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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Tri-County Implement employee provides service for a Jamacian business customer

  • ‘All in a day’s work’ is the saying. Some folks might think the work you do on some days is more pleasant than another day’s work.

    Last month Randy Lokre, a service technician at Tri-County Implement, had to do ‘several’ day’s work in Jamaica.
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  •     ‘All in a day’s work’ is the saying. Some folks might think the work you do on some days is more pleasant than another day’s work.
        Last month Randy Lokre, a service technician at Tri-County Implement, had to do ‘several’ day’s work in Jamaica.
        Tri-County is the area’s John Deere dealership and the Jamaica connection comes from a sale the dealership made over the Internet to a business in Jamaica.
        There isn’t a John Deere implement dealer in Jamaica, so when the business Jamaica Broilers was in need of equipment, they found the best deal at Tri-County’s website.
        The Jamaica Broilers bought a used tractor, planter and combine from the Tri-County inventory. The equipment was shipped from St. James to Miami loaded on a boat and shipped to Jamaica.
        Jamaican Broilers wanted to try growing corn according to Randy.
    It is a diversified business that was raising broiler chickens, had fish ponds, an ethanol plant, a hardware store and a feed plant.  
        With the chicken, ethanol, feed and fish  operations  needing corn, they thought they would try and grow corn.
        The November trip which ran from the 12th through the 19th was the second trip to Jamaica for the long time St. James native. He was there in the spring to initially set up the equipment and to show Tri-County’s customer how to run the equipment.  
        Randy said that there were many people he worked with at Tri-County who were willing to go down to Jamaica with him. It was his 35 years of working with farm equipment at the dealership that was a factor as to why Tri-County had Randy go do the work.   
     
        Just because it was Jamaica doesn’t mean it was a vacation. It was 19  degrees when he left Minneapolis. Because he had become acclimated to the cooler weather of a Minnesota November, it was down right hot to him in Jamaica.
        “It’s hot down there. You’re working hard in the sun,” Randy said.            He was doing hard work in the heat and humidity of Jamaica where he figured it was about 86 degrees every day. Randy did say that Jamaica, “Is an interesting place to visit.”
        The Jamaican business wants to try and grow corn on 400 acres, but the entire acreage is not yet cleared.
    Page 2 of 2 -     This year was their first crop. It  was  planted in May and harvested in November.
        Photos of that first crop showed the rookie corn farmers had a bit of a weed control problem.   
        The very early harvest in Minnesota this fall made it easy for Randy to head for Jamaica in November.
     
        Corn farmers in Jamaica have hurricanes to worry about. Hurricane Sandy went right over the corn field in October, but the crop pulled through with little  damage. Randy said the corn field was in a valley so Sandy’s winds did little damage to the first corn crop.
        Now that the Jamaican customer has its equipment in place, the company may do its ‘spring’ planting in January.
        It’s possible that Randy may head back to Jamaica to help Tri-County’s customer get ready for their second season of planting. 
     
        Randy said their Jamaican customers are, “Nice people and are very pleased with the equipment.  
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