Party for tractor fans

By Country News

John Deere enthusiasts had a field day at Henty with a program chock-full of tractors, cakes, tractor pulls, vintage horsepower, quilts and a Mr and Ms John Deere competition.

The Henty Machinery Field Days celebrated 100 years of tractor manufacturing for the iconic agricultural brand, and gave John Deere fans a rare photo opportunity with two tractors, made 100 years apart, sitting side by side.

A 25hp Waterloo Boy tractor and its big brother, a 570hp John Deere quad track 9RX, were the centrepiece of the celebrations.

The ‘R’ Waterloo Boy came off the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company’s manufacturing line in Waterloo, Iowa, and left the factory on April 2, 1918, destined for a working life in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada.

Almost exactly a century later to the month, the 9RX rolled off the company’s assembly line at Waterloo.

The Waterloo Boy is owned by Lake Goldsmith woolgrower John Kirkpatrick, a passionate collector of John Deere farm machinery and steel-wheeled vintage tractors.

Field day visitors were treated to an extensive outdoor and indoor collection of John Deere tractors co-ordinated by the Henty and District Antique Farm Machinery Club.

The indoor display also included a 700hp 6030 and 1800hp pulling tractor owned by Allan Arthur of Albury.

During the celebrations, a collectible John Deere quilt sewn by Lyn Jacobsen, of Thurgoona, was auctioned at The Stump by Elders Albury livestock auctioneer Matt Tinkler.

The quilt was snapped up for $1500 by Robert Jaques, of Wagga Wagga, for his four-month-old grandson, with the proceeds donated to CWA of NSW Disaster Relief Fund.

The celebrations kicked off with a vintage John Deere tractor pull by Scout Symons, an international competitor in ‘strong-woman’ competitions.

Ms Symons, 26, used a body harness to haul a steel-wheeled 1928 John Deere D Model tractor owned by the Schulz family, of Jindera.

‘‘I’ve pulled a truck and a police highway patrol vehicle so a tractor was next,’’ she said.

Jonathan Schulz and his father Arnold contributed 11 vintage tractors to the indoor and outdoor vintage John Deere display, including a 1959 435 model, one of only seven in Australia.

Jonathan went on to claim the title of Mr John Deere 2018.

The Ms John Deere 2018 title went to Gail Collins, of West Wyalong in NSW.