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Rusmolco’s tractor driver wins top place in the national championship of Russia

Tractor driver Sergey Zakharov, an employee of Rusmolco (Olam's subsidiary in Russia, Penza region), this year became the winner of Russia's national land cultivation and ploughing championship. 

                        

'I was dreaming to be a tractor driver since my childhood' – these words of a 30-year-old Sergey Zakharov might be sounding unusual today. In the early 90's most parents from Russian province wanted 'their kids to stop mixing the manure' and were pushing them to big cities for new opportunities and a brighter future. But for Sergey, who loved his native countryside and work on the land, relocation to a big city was the same as to get cut off from his roots.

'My dad worked as a tractor driver and often took me to his cabin, it was a true adventure, sometimes I even missed my classes at school, which we both kept as our secret' – remembers Sergey.

After returning back from the army he got a prestigious offer from police, but declined it, and started working at Rusmolco – now already for more than 10 years.

'Sergey is capable of organizing the working process in the right way, he has no delays and always takes a well-balanced decision. Once he gets a task, he starts checking thoroughly, if it's the right time to start ploughing, what is the land quality, weather conditions, etc. The land might be too wet, or too dry, and in this case, he gives a callback and suggests starting from another land plot' – says Sergey's boss in Rusmolco. Sergey is a highly skilled specialist, who understands, how modern machinery with hi-tech electronic equipment works.

So, it was not a surprise to anyone that last year he got the first prize at the regional competition of tractor drivers and was awarded a car… which he passed as a gift to his parents.

When this year Sergey went to the national championship on land cultivation and ploughing, he took his wife, Elena, as the main supporter. She was the only woman among other brutal tractor drivers.

Despite an excellent result at the regional championship a year before, the federal contest was a much more serious exercise. It assembled 58 tractor drivers from 45 regions of Russia and a panel of strict international judges from European Arable Federation and the World Arable Organization.

Sergey was excited: he couldn't sleep at nights, was drawing his itinerary on paper, did various calculations on speed, depth of plough, etc. Competitors were so strong that it was not a shame not to get a winning place at all.

'When results were announced, remembers Elena, our hearts actually stopped beating. I didn't hear Sergey's name as a third place, or second place winner… but when he was announced as a first-place winner, the ground totally crumbled under my feet'.

As a first-place winner, Sergey was awarded a Kirovets K-424 tractor (over 100k USD cost) manufactured by St. Petersburg Tractor Plant.

'I had plans of buying my own tractor, but this was a faraway dream, due to its high cost, and with two small kids I couldn't allow myself to take a risk of a credit loan. This award is a true miracle for me' – says Sergey.

Owning now a tractor, Sergey is still not planning to start a farming business on his own and will keep developing his career with Rusmolco. He admits, that thanks to the company he was able to develop his skills so well and reach such an outstanding result.    

Besides winning a tractor, Sergey also got an invitation to represent Russia this year at the World Ploughing Championship in the United States. He definitely wishes to take his wife with him, as he believes that this is she, who brings him success.

Let's all keep fingers crossed and wish Sergey to get the best result at the international championship.

 July 3, 2019

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