Members of the Hunter Brothers already use the company’s equipment on their farm in southern Saskatchewan and are now taking the partnership to a new level with a formal agreement
New Holland and Canadian country music sensations the Hunter Brothers are partnering up.
It’s already a well-established match but now the ag equipment manufacturer and the country music band hope to move the relationship further along.
The five brothers from Shaunavon, Sask., are topping Canadian country music charts and they’re also farmers and long-time New Holland customers.
“For us it was just a fantastic fit,” J.J. Hunter, the eldest brother, said from his home in Shaunavon.
“It makes a lot of sense for us because we’ve run New Holland equipment almost exclusively on our farm for most of our life.”
He said their local New Holland dealer, Robertson Implements, has supported the family’s farming operations for decades and has also helped promote the brothers’ music career.
Doug Warrener, director of growth initiatives for New Holland, said the partnership began years ago with the boy’s gospel-singing parents, Lorne and Norma, who operate a 20,000 acre farm in the area.
He said New Holland saw the musical talent of the family and as the family’s fame grew, it sparked an idea.
“We’re trying to be in the rural communities with our equipment and our dealers and we’d like to consider ourselves partners with farmers,” he said.
“Why wouldn’t we reach out and talk to the Hunter Brothers and see if we could tag along and be a part of their expanding fame.”
He said an informal sponsorship arrangement started a few years ago by wrapping the band’s touring bus with New Holland’s logo.
The band’s continued success has led to the latest partnership agreement, which both parties formalized in January.
“We have the capability of going further than a long-term relationship. Certainly we want to continue being a supplier of their equipment for their farming operation for years and years to come. But to be a part of their band, we’re looking at that over the next couple of years just to see how it works for them and for us and we’ll go from there,” he said.
“(The partnership) involves just being part of their equipment operation, just making sure they have some of the best equipment on their farming operation.”
Hunter said the agreement is the band’s first major sponsorship deal. New Holland ensures their farm is well-equipped and the band promotes the equipment with its videos and in other band ventures.
Despite their busy musical career, it’s the time of the year where the crop needs to go in the ground.
As of May 3, Hunter said slightly more than 40 percent of their seeding was complete, but was at a standstill after a large snowfall.
He said April and May are somewhat slower months in the music industry, which allows the brothers to focus on the farm.
“And that’s good for us. It’s a bit of a reset button. It kind of refreshes you to get out on the land and get your hands dirty and put in some long hours with the implements that we love,” he said.
However, their musical career is reaching a point where the brothers must devote huge amounts of time and creative energy to it instead of the operations of their large grain farm.
“It’s been a slow transition over the last few years where the music has become busier and busier. The farm work doesn’t go away, but we’ve been able to get some great hired workers in place to help carry the load when we’re away and to allow us the freedom to be able to do it so that the farm can still run,” Hunter said.
“We love the farm, but we also love what we’re doing with the music. Yes, the lines are a little bit blurry. There’s kind of that grey area of what percentage are you farming and what percentage are you musicians.”
But no matter where they end up, he said their balance and musical inspiration come from the farming side of life.
“I think we’re in a position, and we really believe this within our hearts, that the farm is a positive thing. When you’re singing about country music, we have those direct ties and we really know what it’s like to work in the dirt and work the 20-hour days to get the crop in the ground. Regardless of how big and where the music takes us, you always have a piece of your heart that’s in the farm and I can’t see that changing,” he said.