Honoring an Heirloom

Read how a Nebraska teen poured his heart and soul into restoring his great-grandfather’s cultivator.

Josiah Wriedt with his great-grandfather’s New Century Leverless cultivator. Josiah recently completed full restoration of the family heirloom.

Family history captured Josiah Wriedt’s attention at the tender age of 10, when he completed a 4-H project about unique experiences and world events connected to his grandparents and great-grandparents.

Now, at age 17, Josiah has resurrected a New Century cultivator his great-grandfather once used on the family’s Nebraska farm. His restoration process included researching company history, locating photos to help assess what parts of the cultivator were missing and digging deep to identify original colors and striping design.

Rescued by his father, Jim, some 15 years ago, the cultivator has been tucked away on the Wriedts’ Norfolk, Nebraska, farm until spring 2019. “We have two of these cultivators,” Josiah says. “My great-great-grandfather had one, too. We took parts of Great-Great-Grandpa’s to help restore the other one.”

Josiah says it probably cost him about $200 to restore the cultivator. “But it’s an important part of my family’s history,” he says, “and I expect it will be in our family for many generations to come.”

Josiah’s earliest recollection of seeing the cultivators on his family’s property goes back to early childhood, when he climbed up on the implements, took his place in the seat and imagined driving a team of horses to cultivate a crop. When his school, Elkhorn Valley Schools at Tilden, implemented its first Future Farmers of America organization in the fall of 2018, Josiah’s thoughts turned to how he might boost interest in his school’s FFA group, FFA in general and agriculture.


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