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Northern Illinois farmers plan 6th antique tractor, plow day
By DEBORAH BEHRENDS
Illinois Correspondent

CORTLAND, Ill. — Step back in time to see a Farmall H pull a two-bottom plow or a John Deere 830 tractor with a five-bottom plow. This and more will be featured at the sixth annual Tractor and Plow Day on Saturday, Aug. 19 in rural DeKalb.

The Cortland South Side Plow Gang has organized the event for antique tractor collectors and spectators. Local farmers will operate nearly 50 restored antique tractors pulling vintage plows. They will plow a 200-acre wheat field, owned by the Klemm family and operated by Bob and Landon Faivre, at the corner of Illinois 23 and Perry Road.

“For those of us who collect and restore antique tractors it’s a great day to use them,” said Bob Jordal, a Cortland farmer and one of the organizers of the event.

Jordal helps farmers adjust the pull-behind plows for the optimum performance in turning over a relatively small swath of soil (14-70 inches). He will bring his collection of International and John Deere tractors and accompanying plows.

“Most of the farmers who collect and restore these tractors used to run them years ago,” continued Jordal. “It brings back memories of how farming was in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.”

The Plow Day begins at 10 a.m. It will be an all-day event with opportunities for the general public to come and go. A concession stand on-site will offer sandwiches and beverages. To get an up- close look at the plowing event, a people mover will take people around the field.

Jordal said it will take the 50 antique tractors with two- to five-bottom plows all day to plow the field. In comparison, today’s modern four-wheel drive tractor and 10-bottom plow could accomplish this task by itself in a day.

One special feature of the day will be a 1911 steam engine pulling an eight-bottom plow as run by Karl Koeling of Sycamore, Ill. It will use 3,000 pounds of coal and 1,000 gallons of water throughout the day.

Farmers are welcome to bring their antique tractors and plow to the Plow Day. To participate or for more information, contact Jordal, 815-757-1101; Rodney Engstrom, 814-751-7533, Dale Gommel, 815-739-9455.

There is no charge to attend the Antique Tractor and Plow Day.

This farm news was published in the August 9, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

8/9/2006