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Tractor parade features all colors

Slideshow: Look for your favorite color in this parade of antique tractors and other equipment.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

September 19, 2023

22 Slides

How many vintage tractors took part in the daily tractor parade at the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana 75th annual reunion this summer? Too many to count! A seemingly endless line of tractors paraded through the grounds where the event is held, south of Rushville, Ind. They came in all colors, shapes, sizes and ages. Some pulled implements while others pulled antique wagons loaded with people.

Event officials estimated that some 300 tractors participated in the 2023 event. Here’s a snapshot of highlights.

On the move

Tractors kept rolling as an announcer let the crowd know what tractor was coming next and who was driving it. The parade, held each day of the four-day event, is one of the highlights of the annual reunion. Set for the first weekend in August, it’s been held nearly every year since threshing rings closed in the area in the mid-20th century.

The annual gathering at Caldwell Acres southwest of Rushville is staffed by volunteers. It features steam engines and demonstrations of almost any type you can imagine, from disking to plowing to hauling wagonloads of material from one place to another.

Food vendors and others hawk everything from old-time license plates to toy tractors to collectibles. Remember, one man’s treasure was once another man’s junk. There is plenty of what looks like “junk” to go around. In the eyes of a collector, it becomes treasure.

There’s no doubt, though, that steam engines and tractors are the stars of the show. The Saturday parade took nearly one-and-a-half hours to complete.

Learn about the event and get prepared for next year at Meanwhile, be sure to check out the accompanying slideshow for highlights from the Saturday afternoon parade. Don’t stop until you’ve seen the Farmall corn picker that carried corn over the operator’s head, the Farmall with wheels so high the operator appeared to be on stilts, and the early 20th century road grader pulled by a tractor.

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About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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