Antique farming exhibits have been a popular attraction at Husker Harvest Days for years. Farmers young and old enjoy seeing where agriculture has been through these antique displays, along with learning about where agriculture is going through the modern farm technology exhibits on the show grounds.
During the 40th anniversary show two years ago, the core group of antique display organizers went all out, displaying numerous tractors and equipment not only from the early part of the last century, but also from the first HHD in 1978. Visitors walking through the antique farm equipment displays on South Shuttle Road might have felt as if they were stepping back in time four decades.
There are many farmers who have attended each and every HHD over the past 42 years. If you attended the 40th version two years ago, you had only to visit the antique farming machinery display to meet three farmers who attended every HHD for 40 years.
Antique machines at HHD for 32 years
In fact, Don Uhrich was one of the farmers who drove a tractor and disk in fall 1977 in preparation for the first show in the fall of the following year. Uhrich, along with his brother Howard, and Kenny Layher are among those who have attended every show. The Uhrichs and Layher are all from Wood River, Neb. Helping A.J. Boehler from Hastings, Neb., with organizing and working at the antique machinery display at HHD, the group of farmers said that antique machines have been a part of the show for the past 32 years.
Although he hasn’t attended every show, Boehler, too, attended the first HHD as a sales representative for Sieb Inc., a Sutton, Neb., company that marketed anhydrous ammonia converters. At this year’s HHD, Boehler and his group from three local antique tractor clubs developed a special display that not only features antique tractors, but also old farm implements. Boehler says the location for the antique farming displays at HHD is perfect. “People can walk past the history of farming and see where we’ve been. The old tractors and equipment bring back memories for most people, and the younger folks enjoy seeing that machinery, too,” he says. “Then they go into the main show site and see where we are going.”
Of course, the display always exhibits dozens of antique tractors of all brands and colors. Other antique favorites will be returning, like the big hit-and-miss oil rig engine coming in from Texas, as well as another small hit-and-miss engine that has been rumored to occasionally help produce homemade ice cream.