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A unique IH boom tractor model at Illinois toy show
Illinois Correspondent

URBANA, Ill. — The Park Inn and Illini Conference Room served as the site of the second annual Illini Farm Toy Show, Jan. 13-15. Along with the show, the event boasted a display contest Chet Walters of Weldon, Ill. had among the more interesting designs.

Walters created an IH boom tractor like the ones he saw while growing up.

“I saw these near the Martin Auction site,” Walters said. “They had these boom tractors down there, and I thought about building one on my way home from the Gateway Toy Show in St. Louis last year.”

At last year’s Gateway show, Walters created an IH four-wheel-drive tractor model that IH never made. What if International Harvester came up with their 2+2 model in the early 1970s rather than the late 70s?

That is the question that Chet Walters had pondered. Acting on his imagination, this innovative toy builder took that question to task and created his own version of an IH model he calls an IH 4468. As for the boom tractor; though, this model was the real thing.

“Warren Martin, Larry Martin’s dad bought a sale barn in Arthur, Ill. and took these tractors there,” Walters explained. “That is where I took the pictures and measured the tractors to create this 1/16th scale model.”

He started the boom tractor in March and worked on it through May then put it away for spring. “Then I brought it out in December and started finishing it up,” he said. “I went home yesterday and finished it before the Illini played.” This made sense for a man that lives close to the University of Illinois.

Besides the filled room-to-room trading, this year’s show also had vendor’s spilling over into the hall and in the Griggs Room where there was an open floor display for vendors. One vendor offering something a bit different from the rest of the crowd was Richard Herschberger, a photographer from Arthur, Ill.

Herschberger was selling matted farm and vintage equipment prints. “I started photography in 1981,” he explained. “Then I left it for seven years when I got burned out. I came back in 1995.”

Herschberger received his training through photography workshops and was able to study with Ansel Adams in 1981 at a seminar in the Yosemite Valley. He also attended other seminars that provided him with the knowledge he needed to hone his craft. Hershberger’s photography is in his own style with clear prints that reflect his love of nature and the Amish heritage from his hometown.

“Growing up in Arthur, I always loved farm-related scenes,” he said. “I used to stay away from the Amish scenes, but I am doing more these days.”

Some of Hershberger’s work can be found on display at the Arthur, Ill. furniture store - The Wood Loft. These days, he is focusing on farm scenes and is seeking photos and slides from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Herschberger can be contacted at 217-543-3939.

This event was sponsored by the District 12 Young Ag Leaders. For details, contact Alan Chesnut at 217-247-2644 or or Ben Moye at 217-356-6751 or

Published in the January 25, 2006 issue of Farm World.