The Tractor of the Year press conference at the EIMA ag machinery exhibition in Italy is not ordinary announcement to the media — it’s a dramatic presentation replete with blaring music, a flash of a camera lights and shiny award plaques.

Four categories were awarded: Design, Specialized, Utility and then the Tractor of the Year. As many as four finalists were welcomed to the stage to receive awards for making the short list and a round of photos, and then the winner is announced from the finalists and bigger and shinier award is handed out.

This year’s winner was the Case IH Optum 300 CVX.

It was selected by panel of 24 European ag journalists. They first gathered in Bologna, Italy, last May to sort the applicants into a short list.

That’s when the journalists went to work. They reviewed marketing materials and advertising videos, listened to presentations from the manufacturers and then watched each nomination on the short list work through a series of demonstrated tasks. They even sat behind the wheel for a measure of comfort, utility and safety.

“This challenge is a landmark for the industry,” Paolo Pompei explained during the press conference. “But quality is good, but it’s not enough today. We need innovation and new ambition targets to share our success globally.”

Yes, it was an American tractor that won the honor, but it has had its share of modifications to meet European regulatory and safety standards, as well as preferences of European farmers.

Now for the coming year overseas, Case IH will showcase its Optum as the best for 2017. Who wouldn’t want to make the same brag in the U.S.?

Karen Binder can be reached at 6148-534-0614 or kbinder@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Binder.

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