Worldwide Wow!


| September 2003



FC_V6_I2_Sep_2003_07-1.jpg

Richard Stout's 1925 Gleaner is "crude"

The 2003 World's Expo of Antique Farm Equipment delivered the goods ... a world of tractors, gas and steam engines, pumps, combines, implements and memorabilia was on display at the three-day event. Held every other year at locations near Des Moines, Iowa, this year's show moved to McMillan Park at the Old Threshers Grounds in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

'The land at Ankeny (Iowa) was sold,' Dave Cobler, an expo board member overseeing the show's John Deere exhibit, explains. 'So we couldn't go back there. But I feel like this is going to be a very good site for us. The facility is great, and the steam railroad, museums, good roads and grandstand all contribute to that. What comments I've heard have been very good.'

More than just a varied selection of exhibits, the Expo offers show-goers a full slate of seminars. This year's featured topics focused on safety and restoration themes, while entertainment included dancing, tractor games and pulls, live music and chainsaw carving demonstrations.

For many, the expo offers a chance to savor antique farm equipment's bigger picture ... it's not just a tractor or engine show. Max Folkerts of Allison, Iowa, displayed a Belle City corn picker as part of the show's Ferguson exhibit. 'People love that little picker,' Max says. 'Most of them haven't seen anything like it. It seems like that's what sets this show apart - people drag implements along with their displays, and that's what tells the whole story.'

Part of that story dates back nearly a century. Alan Buckert of Mt. Pleasant displayed and demonstrated a Model 5 Sandwich corn Sheller dating to 1910. The harmony of wood and iron creaking into motion as the vintage piece fired up stopped visitors in their tracks. The expo also offered a symphony of sound: Melinda Huisinga of Carlyle, Iowa, was one of several steam engine operators cruising the show grounds.

'I grew up at Mt. Pleasant,' she says, driving a half-scale, 65-hp Case. 'My dad was on the board of directors of the steam train, and my mother worked in one of the church food tents.'