Dependable Massey Ferguson Tractors: New and Old

A devoted Massey Ferguson customer, Brian Ussary, values hard-working tractors in the field, as well as the vintage machines he restores.

By Des Keller | Photos By Charlie Riedel

Missouri’s Brian Ussary appreciates the very new and the very old when it comes to farm machinery. He’s got plenty of both, and both are Massey Ferguson—the only brand he’ll have on his farm.

His barn features meticulously cared-for late-model Massey Ferguson tractors like the MF7624 and the MF8727. He also has an MF9545 combine with two seasons under its belt, as well as other AGCO equipment, including a White Planters™-branded planter and Sunflower® tillage tools. The yard is kept trimmed with an MF1736 lawn tractor.

Brian Ussary drives one of his late model Massey Ferguson tractors on his farm in Missouri.

Brian Ussary drives one of his late model Massey Ferguson tractors on his farm in Missouri.

A second building on his farm is filled with 27 vintage Massey-Harris, Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors dating from the 1930s to the 1950s. Each has been meticulously restored, repainted and overhauled (if need be). They all run, and all were on display this past summer when the Ussarys hosted Massey Days on their farm.

“I like working with new equipment,” Ussary says. “So we usually look to trade every two to three years on the major pieces. We get great dependability with these machines and rarely have any issues. The transmission is second to none with good fuel economy.”

As for Ussary’s love of AGCO’s older heritage models, the collecting started innocently enough about 15 years ago, when he purchased a Massey-Harris 101 Super (1941). One of the most powerful tractors of its time, it generated nearly 50 HP from a Chrysler L-head, inline six engine. Like the one Ussary owns, the model was unique in that it had side covers on the hood featuring dozens of openings, or louvers. “’That’s the only one I want,’ I told my wife,” Brian says of such vintage machines. “But three years later, I had 10 tractors. So, I kind of had to eat my words.”

It’s an understatement to say that Ussary has a good relationship with his dealer, Merz Farm Equipment, based in Falls City, Nebraska. “Brian has good equipment, and he keeps it up and trades on a regular basis,” says general manager Mitch Merz. “He gets premium dollar on his trades. We have customers that want to buy what Brian trades in.”

The relationship began—and continues—between Brian and Mitch Merz’s father, Bruce Merz. Bruce, his brothers, Dennis and Gale, and their father, Nelson Merz, purchased what was then a Ferguson dealership in 1953.