The Macon County Fairgrounds hosted the 21st Annual Early Farm Days Antique Tractor and Engine Show with the smell of burning fuel and engines putt-putting away just as they have for the last century or more. About 50 participants — tractor and/or engine owners—all lined the grounds to show off their prized possessions. Despite the unpredictable weather, event organizers Wayne English and Robin McLendon thought the turnout was good, all things considered.
“The rain certainly had an effect on the show,” he said. “Some of the people who would have had tractors and other things for the show were worried about getting stuck in the mud with their equipment and trailers, but that's just how it goes. We've had bigger turnouts in year's past, but we've also had smaller turnouts.”
“I thought the tractor show was really cool,” said Otto resident, Tim Gallenkamp. “I had never been to one, but now I can't wait to go to another. Everywhere you went, you just saw another thing that would stand out and catch your attention.”
There was also a tractor parade, crafts, a variety of vendors, a parts flea market, and demonstrations. According to English there were all kinds of antique tractors there from a variety of manufacturers like John Deere, Massey Ferguson, Case, and others.
“The only thing we really didn't have this year was a Ford tractor,” said English. “I think the rarest tractor we had was a Minneapolis- Moline. You don't see them often.”
English has been involved with tractors all of his life. It is an interest that results from three decades of tractor and equipment sales by his father in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.
“I grew up around farm equipment,” he said. “I love tractors and old engines. I don't hunt, fish, or play golf. Everybody has got their hobby or pastime that they enjoy. Mine is anything to do with old farm equipment.”
Both organizers agree that though the weather may have affected the turnout, it was still a success and they will be anticipating the 22nd annual show.
“We probably had about 300 visitors despite the weather,” said McLendon. “There were local people and people from other parts of the state. There were also people from South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee. Just from all around the southeast really. We'll be looking forward to next year's show.”