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Illinois FFA group raffling restored 1945 AC tractor
Illinois Correspondent

HAMPSHIRE, Ill. — Hampshire FFA adviser Steve Austin didn’t reinvent the wheel ... he just it reworked it to fit his organization.

“Other chapters have restored tractors to raffle and had success with it, so we thought we would try it. We’re just copying what they’ve done,” Austin said.

With his ag mechanics classes, Austin said it was a good fit - a learning tool and fund-raiser in one. The 1945 Allis-Chalmers C is a small tractor that Austin said could be used by someone with a lot of property to mow, someone with a farmette.

The ag mechanics classes have about 50 students that helped with cleaning up the antique, but Austin said only about 12 actually participated in the rebuild.

“They came in before and after school and gave up a lot of their free time for this project,” Austin explained.

Austin said members sold tickets at the annual Northern Illinois Steam Show in Sycamore and at the Marengo FFA’s annual toy show. He said both chapters were supportive of the project.

With about $1,600 invested in the tractor and the parts to restore it, Austin said he put a disclaimer on the back of the tickets that if 500 of the $5 tickets weren’t sold, the raffle would be for cash. “We’ve sold enough tickets so the tractor will be raffled.”

He indicated he knows of a party interested in buying the tractor if the winner doesn’t really want it.

The raffle will be conducted at the FFA annual banquet on Sunday, March 19. The winner need not be present to win.

Tickets are still available by calling Austin at the high school, 847-683-2522, ext. 26. They are $5 each or $20 for a book of five.

Austin said the chapter needed to do something to raise a bit more money to help celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. Members will host a banquet later this year.

He also expressed concern that this could be the end of the line for FFA if the District 300 tax referendum fails.

This farm news was published in the March 8, 2006 issue of Farm World.