Break Out the Plows: Idaho Club Puts Vintage Iron to Work

Panhandle Antique Tractor & Engine Club's first-ever Plow Day

| January 2010

Vintage iron roared to life at the first-ever Plow Day produced by the Panhandle Antique Tractor & Engine Club, Sandpoint, Idaho, in May.

In lieu of an annual tractor drive along rural roads and farmsteads, the club opted to tune up tractors, hook up plows and sharpen coulters for a day in the dirt.

More than 24 tractors of varied makes and models were showcased in the event held in northern Idaho’s Selle Valley. Named for a pioneer settler, the area is bordered by two tree-covered mountain ranges with peaks rising to 7,000 feet above sea level.

The scenic valley is home to the Panhandle club, which has a membership of more than 50 old iron enthusiasts. The club meets monthly, generally at members’ shops where tractor and engine projects are viewed and discussed.

The May Plow Day was held at a hayfield long overdue for plowing, discing, harrowing and reseeding. The event opened with a safety meeting and instructions presented by Lee Burnett, club president, and Jim Thompson, secretary/treasurer, both of Sandpoint.

Participants were told to set plow depth between 6 and 8 inches so furrows would be uniform. “Six to 8 inches,” said one man, “my Cub won’t plow that deep!” Good-natured ribbing followed. “Are you bragging or complaining?” responded another.

Plowing was soon underway, with Lee making the first furrow with his Farmall H and 2-bottom trip plow. Five hours later, the group (including guests from the Spokane Valley Tractor Club in eastern Washington) had plowed about six acres. “We gained four new members today, and we actually had about twice as many tractors and twice as many people than what we expected,” Lee said afterward. “We’re already planning another Plow Day for next year.” FC

For more information: Lee Burnett, 621 French Rd., Sandpoint, ID 83864; (208) 263-4079 (home); (208) 610-5871 (cell phone).
Cecil Hicks is a freelance writer from Sandpoint, Idaho.