Plow DayAntique tractor fans gather to test their equipment
About 30 vintage agriculture enthusiasts set a speed record Saturday morning as they finished plowing a plot of land just north of Washington in almost record time.
As part of the annual Wayland Antique Tractor Club plow day, people with vintage tractors and plows, as well as two teams of horse-drawn plows, met to plow 77 acres belonging to Greg Wiley. In what was supposed to be an all-day event, the plow drivers began at 10 a.m., but ended up finished shortly after 12:30 p.m. The side of G36 off the land was filled with trucks and flatbed trailers that hauled the agricultural gear to the site. After making their rounds through the field, the plow pilots got together to discuss the benefits of the gear of bygone days over modern plows. They boasted 70 feet in one pass.
“We did it in record time,” organizer Jerome Vittetoe said of the event as he watched the plows making a final pass on the property.
Vittetoe said that plowing like this has been done for well over 100 years. In more recent times, the need to plow fields has given way to more modern methods, but many antique and vintage farming enthusiasts are keeping the art of plowing a field alive.
Myron Hoylman brought his vintage Oliver 88 and a three-bottom Case plow to turn the soil. When he arrived at 10:30 a.m., shortly after the event was scheduled to start, he said that he was surprised by how much of the work had already been done. He ended up making five rounds.
“It’s a bunch of grown men having good clean fun playing in the dirt,” he said with a chuckle. “I was telling someone that if someone had told everyone here that they had to be here, you would have heard a bunch of complaining. If you tell them it is going to happen and they can participate if they choose, they come out of the woodwork.”
Roger Howe visited the field to operate some of Vittetoe’s equipment he had brought to the event. He owns about 150 tractors and plows that he displays at a museum in Columbus Junction.
“I grew up on them things,” he said. “This is how we used to do it. There is nothing better than going down the field watching the ground turn over. It is a lot of fun.”
All said people interested in starting the hobby should not hesitate to give it a try.
For more information on joining the club, call Vittetoe at 319-430-0797.