Volunteers Make It Click at Tractor and Steam Shows!

Farm Collector readers celebrate show volunteers in their favorite 2018 show season photos from across the country.

| February 2019

 Central-States-Threshermens-Reunion
The 2018 Central States Threshermen’s Reunion in Pontiac, Ill., was one of the biggest shows in memory there. The second oldest antique tractor show in Illinois, the Central States club hosted the Gathering of the Orange in 2018, welcoming more than 1,000 tractor displays. Photo by Raymond Mattox, Crete, Ill.

According to an old proverb, it takes a village to raise a child. Using the same logic, to produce a tractor or steam show, it takes a group of people big enough to populate a good-size city.

People are, quite simply, the heart of every show. The old iron on display plays a starring role, to be sure – but without the people who bring exhibits, work in demonstrations, line up endless rows of tractors, organize parades, build the buildings, plant and harvest grain, ready the show grounds and keep club-owned displays running, it’d be pretty boring business.

This year’s crop of show photos taken by readers of Farm Collector celebrate the volunteer. Behind every successful show is a small army of volunteers who spend weeks before the show opens getting things ready, and then punch in for dawn-to-dusk shifts every day of the show.



They’re grading parade routes and watering roads to fight dust. They’re setting up bleachers, staging tractor pulls, hauling grain (and trash, and supplies, and food, and ice). They’re making sure exhibitors have everything they need to keep their antiques running. They’re handling registrations, manning the information booth, answering emails and phone calls. Mowing. Working the gate. Parking cars. Cooking. Handling security. Running demonstrations several times a day.

Many are retirees; others take time off from work to help out. All have other things they might be doing, but they’ve chosen to put their energies into preserving the past. Enjoy these photos, and remember who makes shows possible: Cheers to the volunteers!  FC



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