August 10, 2022
The last class of the Washington Township Consolidated School in Iowa may have graduated in 1991, but the community is keeping the building alive and thriving as a community center — thanks to money raised in an annual tractor ride.
For 11 years, on the last Saturday in July, folks have come together to raise money to keep the building operational, says tractor ride organizer David Book. Funds from this annual event, which includes a breakfast, raise enough to help with renovations each year.
“This year, we are just short of 20 tractors on the ride, but in 2020 we had 37 tractors, and people traveled from several hours away,” Book says. “There weren’t many rides that year, and people just wanted to get out and enjoy the Iowa countryside.”
The school, which was consolidated from nine other schools in 1920, eventually consolidated with Central Dallas of Minburn, Iowa, in 1958. The school was used until 1991, when Central Dallas consolidated to make Adel-DeSoto-Minburn.
About 10 years after the last classes were held at the school, the property was acquired to prevent destruction, and the local residents formed the Washington Township Consolidated School Foundation. Members of the foundation raise money to maintain and restore the building as needed and keep it available for use by groups in the area.
About the Author(s)
Editor, Wallaces Farmer
Jennifer lives on a farm near Redfield, Iowa, where she runs a small cow-calf operation with her family. A 20-plus year ag journalism veteran, Jennifer has covered a wide range of agriculture issues. A graduate of Iowa State University, she has worked for local daily papers and other agriculture publishers. She came to Wallaces Farmer from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. She enjoys writing, managing cattle, and hearing and telling farmer stories.
Jennifer has two children. Kassidy, 21, attends Black Hawk East College, but will transfer in the fall to Oklahoma State University. Son, Klayton, attends Panorama High School where he excels in academics, sports, FFA and 4-H.
“My favorite part of being an ag journalist is to tell the story of the farmer and rancher,” she says. “The farmer and rancher do the work to make the food, fiber and fuel for everyone. I want to use our online presence to broaden that message to those off the farm.”
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