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He Collects And Farms With “Uni” Equipment
“I started working on New Idea Uni ag equipment right out of tech school at an equipment dealership and enjoyed it so much that I started collecting models for myself in 1999,” says Wisconsin farmer Richard Navis. A little over 20 years later he owns 16 Uni’s, including a predecessor to the New Idea products, a 1950’s Minneapolis Moline L.
Navis says he paid just $2,500 for his first 708 Uni with a chopper and used it on his dairy farm to cut hay and corn silage. “The machine did a great job, maybe a little underpowered, because when the corn was tall you had to crawl,” Navis says with a laugh. Later he bought a 704 and a 709 from the dealership where he’d been employed and returned them to full working condition.
“My Uni equipment doesn’t just sit around and look good. We use them to farm,” Navis says. He uses them for cutting hay and grain, harvesting grain, corn and beans, chopping silage and picking ear corn. One of them even has a mounted corn planter.
“I really like picking corn the best,” Navis says. “There’s just something special about seeing the ears go into the gathering chains and then drop into the wagon.”    
These days his wide collection includes just about every piece of equipment New Idea made for the Uni line, and he still keeps an eye out for models that might be a valuable addition to his collection.
Navis says people are amazed when they find out he farms 200 acres with equipment that’s 50 or more years old. “Even though it takes me nearly a whole day to fill a semi with ear corn, I get it done eventually, and if something breaks, I know how to fix it,” Navis says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Navis, N9117 Little Elkhart Lake Road., Elkhart Lake, Wisc. 53020.

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4