The Lyon County organization of the Flint Hills Antique Power Association, EDGE and TA #107, Emporia, Kansas, and Central States Hart Parr Oliver Collectors Association, Osage City, Kansas, will present the fifth annual Plow Day and Tractor Show at the Dale DeLong Farm, 1420 Road 210, Emporia, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 26, 27 and 28.
Antique tractors demonstrating plowing and the antique tractor and equipment show will be from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. with wheat threshing, hay baling and corn shelling demonstrations taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The wheat will be cut around the middle of June and it will be loaded onto hay wagons to be stored in a dry place until the actual threshing day on Saturday, June 27.
Events will include binding with an IHC antique grain binder, threshing with a 1922 Avery thresher and baling with a 1920 Ann Arbor Hay Press. Other equipment to be used includes Gleaner and Allis-Chalmers pull-behind combines owned by Gary Watts and a 1970 Oliver 7300 self-propelled combine owned by Dale DeLong.
Thirty to 40 antique tractors pulling antique plows will plow 50 acres of wheat stubble.
Friday will be the day to set up and test the equipment and for tractor owners to bring tractors and other equipment to show. Demonstrations will include Mark Say showing his corn shelling machine and Roy Gatewood operating his collection of hit-and-miss engines.
The Flint Hills Antique Power Association (FHAPA) has members from several areas of Kansas, including Hillsboro, Marysville, LaCygne and Peabody.
Special invited guests include Sherry Schaefer from Greenville, Illinois, who is the editor of Heritage Iron and Oliver Heritage magazines. Special friends, who search out Oliver tractors, from Dixon, Missouri, also plan to attend.
Each year, the show features a particular brand of tractor. The first year at the Jim Woods Show, it was the Oliver. The second year near Soden's Grove, the Allis-Chalmers was featured. Year 3, at Dale DeLong's farm, the International Harvester was selected. Year 4, the John Deere was chosen for the Dan Richard Show. For this year, the Oliver and White and Minneapolis-Moline tractors, plus farm equipment, will be the stars.
The Flint Hills Antique Power Association member who is providing his farm, fields and facilities for the event this year is Dale DeLong and his family which includes his wife, Bobbi, and two daughters: Haley, attending K-State; and Macey, who is attending Emporia State University.
Dale is the owner of 50 running Oliver and White tractors, and two that are not. He purchases the tractors in whatever condition they are in and restores them in his well-equipped shop, usually from December 1 to March 1, when he has time from his farming and cattle operations. He has been collecting since 2000, which is the year he built his shop. Dale purchased his first Oliver 77 tractor from his Dad, Don DeLong, in 2001. The engine was frozen after sitting unused for 20 years, so this became Dale's first restoration project. He has finished restoring 15 tractors since 2001.
His favorite tractor is a 1973 White 2255, which is red and white, and is only one of 36 made in 1973 by Oliver. The Cockshutt Company in Canada was purchased in the early 1960s by Oliver. After Oliver purchased the Cockshutt Co., they wanted to offer a tractor for the Cockshutt customers to purchase in the colors they were familiar with: red and white. Dale stated, "Farmers are very loyal to their brand and the coloring is a big part of that when they are talking tractors.
Dale's reply to "What is your favorite tractor to drive?" was laughingly, "All of them." He has a special affinity for the Oliver 995, which he just finished restoring.
The majority of tractors are located through the Internet with most of them coming from South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois.
The first tractor which Dale purchased, when he was a high school freshman to grind feed for his swine operation, was an Oliver 77. His junior year, a 2-85 White 1980 was purchased new and his senior year, a White 4-210. In 1979, the swine business was losing ground at 15 cents a pound and by 1982, this project was phased out and a cattle-feeding operation was begun and continues in the present.
With farming being his main occupation, feeding cattle is a close second. He is assisted with this operation by his wife, Bobbi, and daughters, Haley and Macey, when they are home from college.
Sunday, June 28, will be the Tractor Pull Day at the DeLong track. Spectators will be welcome to have lunch under the lean-to which will provide plenty of shade, a comfortable place to sit, and plenty of space and fresh air to cheer on the participants in the Pull, which will begin at 1 p.m.
Dale commented that the farm work he likes best is plowing. But, his favorite part of the Threshing and Plow Day event will be the opportunity to see others and the camaraderie which it provides.
The Plow Day, Tractor Show and Antique Tractor Pull are open to the public with no admission charge. However, members of the general public who would like to take part in the plowing and threshing demonstrations or the Antique Tractor Pull must have a Flint Hills Antique Power Association EDGE & TA Branch #107, Emporia, Kansas, membership card. These will be available during the weekend or by contacting Glen Knuth, president, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Food Court, sponsored by the Flint Hills Antique Power Association, will be open all three days with a moderately priced menu. An Oliver tractor-themed quilt, made by Barbara Knuth, will be on display throughout the weekend. It will be given away on Sept. 19 at the Howe House fall show and equipment demonstrations.
Sponsors for the event are: the Lyon County State Bank, Fowler Farms, Flint Hills Battery, Rock Creek Outfitters, Sutherland Lumber and Ogden Publications.