Iron Warriors

Area antique tractor collectors
to exhibit their prized possessions

Longtime businesses demolished
to make way for new road

Antique Machinery Show

• June 27-29 at the Ripley County Fairgrounds in Osgood, Ind.
• Featuring Tradin’ post, quilt show, demonstrations, demolition derby, truck dirt drags.
• 9 a.m. - dark on Thursday-Saturday; 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday
• Admission: $3 adults; children under 12 free
• Information: www.farmclubonline.com

(June 2019) – Anyone who has grown up on a farm can remember the make and model of the their first tractor. Its unique puttering sound still makes one’s head turn to look and recall memories of “The Home Place.” Chuck Heck and his friends started the F.A.R.M. (farm, antiques, and related machines) club more than 20 years ago and are dedicated to make sure that those memories aren’t lost forever in a constantly changing world.
On June 27-29, the club will be holding its annual farm machinery show at the Ripley County fairgrounds in Osgood, Ind. This year’s theme is the “Economy Engines” and the “Massey Family of Tractors.”
Heck, along with family members and friends, started the club in his family room. Its purpose is to provide a place where tractor connoisseurs could show their well taken care of machines and also to educate the public as to what the early farm machinery looked like and what its purpose was.
More than 150 vintage tractors of all makes and models will be available for close inspection along with some antique trucks. Heck, who has 12 tractors of his own, will be displaying his 1923 International. There is an open invitation for anyone wanting to show his equipment. All you need to do is to bring it to the show and pay a $5 club membership fee. Currently, there are more than 300 members who hail not only from southern Indiana but also northern Kentucky and eastern Ohio.  
Not only will there be plenty of tractors to be seen, but a large variety of antique farming implements will also be exhibited. Several of these will be operating like they did many years ago. There will be a tractor-powered saw mill, and you will also see a thresher in operation. If you own a classic lawn mower, you’re welcome to display that, also.

Photo provided

Farm show organizer Chuck Heck poses with his 1929 McCormick-Deering Model 10-20 tractor, which he restored 20 years ago.

Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not that interested in old farm machinery? Never fear for the F.A.R.M. club has plenty of events that almost everyone can get excited about.
On Friday evening, the demolition derby will take place at the grandstands. It’s always exciting to see cars run into each other and not have to deal with the guilt of a driver getting hurt. On Saturday night, truck drag racing will take place, with trucks large and small taking on each other. Sorry, but this is a sanctioned event so you won’t be able to bring Old Nellie and jump into either one of these competitions
For those who aren’t thrilled by roaring engines, there is still plenty for you at the show. According to Heck, the most popular spot in the fairgrounds is the large cattle barn, which has been converted into the Trading Post. This is basically a flea market. While a lot of farm related items will be found here, so could be just about anything else.
For the softer and gentler side, a quilt show is always a popular attraction. Many different retailers will also be on the site, including those selling farm toys and a variety of food vendors.
A long-standing member of the club is Bob Voegele, who lives in Osgood and is a dedicated Ford tractor restorer. He has a collection of six tractors that includes models A, B, D, G and H that were made from 1928 to 1940. All of these are started with a crank. “If it has a battery, I don’t want it,” he joked.
Voegele has fond memories of an uncle who lived next door who spent a lot of time with him and helped him get interested in farm machinery. Because of that experience, he spends most of his time at the show demonstrating to youngsters how the old farm machinery works. He demonstrates the corn sheller and corn grinder.
Because a whole ear of corn is so difficult to find (combines take the grain off the cob), he raises his own patch to use for the demonstrations. When appropriate and with parents’ supervision, he lets the children get hands-on experiences using the equipment.
His favorite event is when he pulls out an ear of popcorn, has the kids shell it and then informs them that this is what is inside that bag of microwave popcorn. The kids listen in disbelief along with some of their parents. Other demonstrators will show how to carve wood with a chain saw and another one who will let kids make their own pen on a wood lathe.
This is one of those events designed for people to slow down. So pack a lawn chair and find a spot in the shade to rest from the week’s activities and talk to someone you don’t know. Both Heck and Voegele agree that one of the pleasurable things about the show is just getting to know the people.

Who knows, if you listen carefully you might even hear heated arguments going on about the age-old farming controversy: red vs. green.

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