As long-time readers of my columns might remember, I love a good voting competition. There’s something about seeing votes come into an inbox – be it real or electronic – and feeling the positive vibes for certain participants come through loud and clear. I also find it very, very gratifying to acknowledge this popular love by presenting a trophy to a grateful winner at the end of the contest.
At the moment, our magazine CropLife IRON is holding the voting for its annual Product of the Year competition. For the past five years, our staff and a few industry friends have yearly chosen five finalists to compete for this coveted honor. We’ve then opened up the floor, so to speak, for our readers to cast their ballots for which one of these five shines above all the others.
For 2011, the five finalists are the RoGator 1300 from AGCO, the Patriot 4430 from Case IH, the 4940 from John Deere, the Big Shot Spreader from Doyle and the System 350 from TopCon. Voting for this year’s competition opened on October 20 and to date, we’ve received more than 300 ballots from fans of these products.
Without naming names, this year’s contest seems rather one-sided at the moment. The lead vote getter currently holds a comfortable 100-vote edge over the second place product. However, the difference between the second and fifth place products currently stands at less than a dozen votes.
Now I know there are probably plenty of readers out there that think that a 100-vote spread is safe, and it very well may be. But I remember a Product of the Year competition a few years ago where this wasn’t the case. In that contest, the battle shaped up between two companies, Hagie and GVM. For the first three weeks of voting, GVM held a comfortable 75-vote margin over second place Hagie. Then, in the last two days of voting, Hagie suddenly closed the gap. When the dust had settled, Hagie had pulled out the win by less than 20 votes!
Good luck to all the participants. I can hardly wait to see how this year’s voting ends up!