Farm Days event looks at vehicles
PENFIELD — Back in the early days of automobiles, many farmers used their cars as pickup trucks on the farm and out in the field, according to John Fredrickson, president of the I&I Antique Tractor and Small Engine Club.
Money was tighter, and farmers made do with what they had.
It wasn't until later that pickup trucks were considered mandatory for farm work, Fredrickson said. Now, some farmers have two pickup trucks — one for work and another for social occasions.
Old farm trucks and cars will be among the featured items at this year's Historic Farm Days at the club's grounds in Penfield.
"This is the first time we've featured the old trucks and cars," Fredrickson said.
Also featured will be Massey-Harris, Massey Ferguson, New Holland and Caterpillar equipment lines.
The farm show will be held Thursday-Sunday, July 11-14.
Show-goers will also be able to experience The Earthquake, a mammoth tractor that will be one of the featured attractions at the Half Century of Progress farm show this August in Rantoul.
The Earthquake will not be in the field working at the Penfield show, but will be on display.
The behemoth is similar to Big Bud, an oversized four-wheel-drive tractor featured in a previous show.
Each year the club tries to display something unique.
"That's what keeps people coming back," Fredrickson said.
"We get a lot of people from other states, and we do national advertising. It's nothing to have somebody from Texas there and from Delaware. We get a large gathering of people."
It's also not uncommon to have someone attend from overseas.
A couple of years ago, the show had people from Australia on hand. The Aussies were traveling across the United States and made the Penfield show one of their stops.
"There's a vast array of people that are attracted to it," Fredrickson said of the show.
And it's not just people who grew up on the farm.
"We have people, ... their grandfathers were farmers and they come out to kind of reminisce about what they remember of their grandfather's farm, even though may never have lived on a farm."
The featured brand of equipment frequently determines the turnout. A show featuring John Deere equipment will draw a larger gathering due to its popularity.
The equipment brands on display, however, aren't restricted to those that are featured each year.
"We encourage people to bring all brands of tractors and equipment, restored or unrestored," Fredrickson said.
Darius Harms, chairman of the Half Century show and an original member of the I&I club, said Rite Manufacturing of Great Falls, Mont., built The Earthquake, which was engineered by Dave and John Curtis.
Earthquake is powered by a Detroit diesel 12V engine.
The name of the tractor came about after a small earthquake hit Oregon, after Doerfler Farms had bought one of the company's larger models. The Doerfler brothers felt the sensation of the earthquake was similar to the tractor shaking the ground as it plowed a field.
Show-goers also won't have to walk as far to get to the south field exhibition area. An iron bridge has been placed across the creek that runs through the grounds.
A short dedication ceremony will be held for the bridge on Saturday.
The fireworks make a return to the show after taking a one-year break.
The pyrotechnics, which were not held last year due to the dry conditions caused by the drought, will be held Saturday night following the tractor pull.
Each day's events begin at 9 a.m. with the raising of the flag and the national anthem.
Various demonstrations will be held daily, including corn crib filling, threshing and baling, potato digging and wheat combining.
Other daily features include a Chicago Engine demonstration, a daily tractor parade, daily pedal pull, tractor pull, sawmill demonstrations, blacksmith shop, log cabin, household display and museum, trading post, old Penfield Church open and quilt show in the club hall.
Food will also be available on the grounds.
A variety of entertainment will be available, including the Marvin Lee country music show at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the pavilion.
A full list of the show's attractions and itinerary are available at the club's website — antiquefarm.org