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dfp-ronsmith-antique-jd.JPG Ron Smith
As many as 400 tractors, model year 1959 and older, are expected to compete in the Southern Nationals Antique Tractor Pull Dec. 5-7 in Tunica, Miss.

Southern Nationals Tractor Pull Dec. 5-7

Tractor pull benefits St. Jude

The Mean Green Pulling Team will sponsor the 20th annual Southern Nationals Antique Tractor Pull Dec. 5-7 at the Paul Battle Arena in Tunica, Miss.

As many as 400 tractors, model year 1959 and older, are expected to compete. "In previous years we have had pullers from 29 states and three Canadian provinces represented," says Mean Green Club President John Roberson, Charleston, Miss.

For the fourth year, tractor pullers and clubs from all across the United States will raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  Last year the clubs pooled donations along with proceeds from a tractor raffle and a special St. Jude’s class, and The Southern Nationals donated almost $120,000 to St. Jude.

"We will have the raffle again this year," Robinson says, "but it will be for two tractors, a G John Deere and an M Farmall. These two tractors have been built completely through donations and vendor contributions. Raffle tickets have been sold all over the country this year and will be available at the Southern Nationals all three days. The drawings will be on Saturday, and the winner does not have to be present to win."

The three-day event will include a kid’s pull on Saturday for boys and girls ages 3 to 12. "Mean Green will have a small tractor with a bench seat, and a club member will ride with each child to handle everything except the steering (unless needed)."

The pull starts each day as close to 9 a.m. as possible and runs until all scheduled classes for the day are complete, anywhere from 5 to 7 p.m. There is no charge for general admission.

"We have most tractor brands represented at the pull: John Deere, Farmall, Allis Chalmers, Moline, Oliver, Massey Harris, Deutz, Cockshut, and Ford. Most have been restored as representatives of their brand.

"All ages compete against each other," Roberson says. "My grandson started competing at age 6, and two years ago a gentleman from Vancouver who was 96 competed."

G R Hardin, Morris Massey, Fred Grossman, and David Grossman created The Mean Green Club. The first pull was held in 1994 in Verona, Miss., and continued at that site until 1998. In 1999 the pull moved to Greenwood, and to the Paul Battle Arena in Tunica in 2000.

Over the years, with increased attendance, the Southern Nationals has grown from a one-day to a three-day event.

For more information, contact John Ray Roberson Jr, president, Mean Green Pulling Team, 662-647-7045.

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