Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

35th Annual Antique Farm Equipment Show Directory

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief

Tags: machinery, antiques, tractors, farms,

All Steamed Up

2009 Farm Collector Show Directory

It’s here and more beautiful than ever. No, I am not talking about spring I am talking about Farm Collector Magazine’s 35th Annual Show Directory. Although it feels like spring might be just around the corner, today I am more excited about the beginning of the 2009 antique farm equipment show season.

I can’t say exactly why, but I am fascinated … some would say obsessed with antique and vintage farm equipment … especially tractors from the 1940s through the 1970s. I am also a huge fan of the International Harvester Company and their construction equipment, tractors and light trucks … I am so obsessed that I have written books about Harvester and some of its equipment lines.

Anyway, back to the 35th Annual Show Directory. This book is your guide to hundreds and hundreds of antique equipment shows, threshing bees, horse pulls, you name it … in just about every state and province in North America. I keep one copy of the book in my truck and one at home. I like to stop at shows as I travel around, so keeping the Show Directory in my truck means that no matter where I am going, I can find some show to visit between here and there.  I expect to take in a few shows this summer … probably in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Nice Minneapolis-Moline Garden Tractor

If you have never been to a tractor show or plow day, now is your chance. Get your own copy of the 35th Annual Show Directory and plan a fantastic family outing or 100 in 2009. For those grandparents among you, I know you have a grandson or granddaughter who would relish a chance to see how things were done in the “olden” days.

You can order your copy of Farm Collector Magazine’s 35th Annual Show Directory here.

Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .

nebraska dave
2/11/2009 9:04:06 AM

Tractor square dances are known all across Iowa. For many years the Tractor square dance was an attraction at the Iowa State Fair, but alas this last year it was announced that it would be the last dance. I expect the dances will still continue at some of the county fairs. Another big thing with tractors in Iowa is the rodeo. A tractor rodeo has events like who can travel the 100 yard distance the slowest, who can travel the obstacle course blindfolded with a co pilot giving instructions the best, who can drive in the straightest line blind folded, and who can balance the tractor on the teeter totter balance ramps. There are some very funny things that happen during a rodeo. The best I ever saw the heat match between the little banty Farmall Cub and the behemoth Oliver diesel. Laughter erupted throughout the crowd that watched as they pulled up to the starting line. The starting gun was fired and both the tractors started their creep toward the finish line. Much to everyone’s amazement the steroidal looking Oliver began to fall behind as the frustrated driver of the Cub tried everything to slow down the little tractor that knew he could. By the time little Cubby crept across the finish line, Oliver was hardly half the way to the finish. It was quite unexpected by all. Of course the tractor parade is the greatest. My favorite tractor was the Farmall H that had been modified with a 348 cubic inch Chevrolet engine. Totally useless but looked and sounded really cool. Then of course there is the tractor pull competition with classes all the way from garden tractors up to the unlimited class with multiple engines and even one with a jet engine. Our fascination with tractors in the Midwest has gone on for decades and I expect it will continue as long as gardening and farming exists.

cindy murphy
2/10/2009 6:28:35 PM

If you're ever out this way, Hank, be sure and check out the Michigan Flywheelers Museum right down the road from us. Every year they hold a big Antique Engine and Tractor Show (I think it's big; it seems big, but I've never been to any other). It's pretty cool...but it does get kinda dusty out there. That's okay though, Sherman's Dairy is right around the corner, and nothing beats the dust on a hot day better than a double scoop of Sherman's ice cream.

hank will_2
2/10/2009 9:56:40 AM

Cool Erin. I don't know for sure who came up with tractor dances, but I am pretty sure IH marketed the FastHitch using Farmall tractors that way in the early 1950s ... Bobcat did something similar with with their early skid loaders in the 1960s. Again it was always to show how maneuverable the equipment was and how easy the hitch worked.

erin c. midtlyng
2/10/2009 9:53:19 AM

I'm swamped in midterm exams and papers and trying to figure out my field placement for next year. We were thinking of maybe coming down for a week this summer - once we have a better handle of our schedules we'll let you know! And yeah, tractor square dances, I have to wonder who came up with that idea!

hank will_2
2/10/2009 9:38:39 AM

Erin, how are you doing? I saw a group square dance with IH Farmalls in Ohio a few years ago ... and the summer before last there was a group at the Little G garden tractor show that performed with old Dixon ZTR mowers. It is pretty cool, isn't it. When are you coming back to Kansas? I am heading to Louisville tomorrow to look at the latest and greatest farm machinery ...

erin c. midtlyng
2/10/2009 9:28:26 AM

Dad, If there's a tractor square dance, make sure you catch a performance. I saw one in Grinnell and it was really cool.