California International Harvester Collectors Foundation Supports Youth Programs

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By Michael Owen Baker
San Fernando High School auto shop teacher Russ Martin looks over a 1956 Farmall tractor donated by International Harvester Collector club to the San Fernando High auto shop class, Tuesday, August 13, 2013. During the course of the year, the shop's students will work on the tractor, paint it, fix it up, restore it to like-new condition.

Students at San Fernando (Calif.) High School will travel back to the past when they begin restoration of a vintage tractor this fall. The subject of their attention is a 1956 Farmall 300 donated to the school’s auto shop class, along with a check for $1,000 to underwrite restoration supplies and materials.

The gift came from the California International Harvester Collectors Foundation, the charitable arm of International Harvester Collectors Chapter 14 based in California. The foundation supports the collection, restoration and display of IH equipment and encourages preservation of IH farm heritage through youth organizations such as FFA and 4H. This is the 19th tractor the foundation has donated to youth groups. Donations to the foundation are tax deductible.

Tractors donated through the program become school property. “They can use it for PR purposes or sell it as they choose,” says foundation board member Terry Spahr. “One school auctioned off a tractor and created a scholarship for a student who’d worked on the tractor and wanted to go to trade school after graduation.”

Three things make the program important, Terry says. “First, the experience the kids get in restoring the tractor,” he says. “Second, the connection to farming, which most or all in the metropolitan areas of our country have lost, and third, keeping the equipment and technology of the past on display. I am convinced that this is the most important thing our club does.”

For more information:

— Contact Terry Spahr, (310) 413-9418, or Roger Lubiens, foundation treasurer,

Read more about youth tractor education programs in Iowa State University Antique Tractor Club.

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