Record number of tractors tour Wayne County
September 4, 2017
Wayne County Farm Bureau - Fairfield, IL
Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.
Antique tractors from three states joined the Wayne County Farm Bureau for the 9th Annual Wayne County Antique Tractor Drive held on Labor Day, September 4. 60 tractors participated in this year’s drive, which began and ended at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Fairfield, IL. Proceeds from the Tractor Drive supported the Wayne County Ag in the Classroom program.
This year, tractors headed north from Fairfield, making their first stop at the Fred & Louisa Blessing Farm. The group visited the Nutrient Loss Inhibitor Demonstration Plot. The group traveled west toward Geff, making a drive by the 100-year-old Geff Grade School. Tractors continued west to the Byars Brothers farm. Rodney and Ritchie Byars discussed the farms history and their antique tractor collection. Tractors continued west and north to the David White Farm for lunch. On display were 40+ tractors in the Carroll White collection.
After lunch, the tractors headed south a short distance to the old Berry Grade School. The school has been converted into a tractor parts store by Billy Dirksen. Tractors continued south to the farm of Dwain and Sheila Walker. The couple talked about their plans for the farm including their honey production and pollinator habitat initiative, as well as served homemade ice cream to the drivers. The final stretch took the tractors back east to the fairgrounds. The length of the route was around 27 miles.
George Smith presented the Earl Smith Memorial Award to the oldest driver, 87-year-old Bob O’Daniel of Fairfield. The Youngest Driver Award was presented to 16-year-old Tanner Wandel from Evansville, IN. The Oldest Tractor Award was presented to Jackie Knackmus, Jr. from Vincennes, IN, who drove a 1936 Allis Chalmers RC. The award for “Most Original, Unrestored Tractor” went to Darin Hopper who drove a 1949 Ford 8N. The individual who won the award for Farthest Driven were Bill and Kathy Owens from Sturgis, KY who drove 71 miles to participate in the drive. All of the winners received a 1/16 scale antique toy tractor.
The Wayne County Farm Bureau would like to thank 4-R Equipment, Albion Equipment, Herschel Johnson Implement, LeMond’s Carter Limited, and William Nobbe & Co. for sponsoring this year's drive. We would also like to thank the David White Family for their hospitality in hosting the tractors for lunch. We would like to thank Fred & Louisa Blessing, Dwain & Sheila Walker, Rodney & Ritchie Byars & Family, and the Dirksen Family for their hospitality. We would like to thank Walt Townsend for donating the award for the most original tractor. Finally, the Farm Bureau would like to thank all of the drivers, volunteers, and their families for participating in this year’s Wayne County Tractor Drive.
Pictures and video from the event, including all of the driver photos, are available on the Wayne County Farm Bureau Facebook Page.
60 tractors participated in the 2017 Wayne County Tractor Drive.
Jackie Knackmuhs, Jr. drove the oldest tractor, a 1936 Allis Chalmers RC.
The individual who won the award for Farthest Driven were Bill and Kathy Owens from Sturgis, KY who drove 71 miles to participate in the drive.
The Youngest Driver Award was presented to 16-year-old Tanner Wandel from Evansville, IN.