Family Tradition


| April 2001



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Dan Peterman working on an old Deere engine

Well-known tractor restorer, Ken Peterman, died a year ago this month. Ken spent nearly 30 years of his life rebuilding and restoring old tractors in his shop near Webster City, Iowa.

In the wake of his passing, Ken left a tradition of excellence. The tractors he worked on had to be exactly right. If a part was not right, he would re-order it or simply make it himself. Ken was a perfectionist, but the one imperfection he couldn't fix, the one somewhere in his heart, cut his life short at the age of 64.

There is also the tangible legacy, the tractors he brought back to life with his hands. Tractor enthusiasts from all across the country sought his time and his knowledge to restore their tractors. Many of the relics had been rescued from farm groves or abandoned farmsteads. Ken would take these outcasts in, research their unique pedigrees and revive them - someway, somehow.

In the footsteps of the perfectionist is Peterman's son, Dan. For most of the past 15 years, Dan Peterman had worked with, watched, learned from and loved the man he called 'Boss.'

'He brought me up doing this, and I love doing this, but I didn't think I could do it without him,' Dan said. 'There are still times I want to look over my shoulder and say, 'Dad, what do I do?''

Dan decided to continue the restoration business his father had named 'Rusty Acres Restoration,' but it took him several weeks after his father's death to make that decision. He knew the business could never be the same without his dad by his side, but something deep inside him knew that he had to try.