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Indiana FFA Star Farmer has an interesting hobby

Indiana FFA Star Farmer has an interesting hobby
Ben Hay collects and restores Cub Cadet lawn tractors in his spare time.

Ben Hay, Deputy, was named FFA Star Farmer of Indiana in June at the Indiana State FFA convention. He represented the Madison FFA chapter. His parents, Jerry and Lola Hay, were once state leaders in the Indiana Young Farmers Association.

Related: Ben Hay recognized as 2015 Indiana FFA Star Farmer

Ben's supervised occupational experience program centered on beef cattle. He started with four registered Angus cows which he purchased, and had 20 brood cows at the peak.

He will be going to school at the University of Northwest Ohio for training in diesel mechanics this fall. Upon graduation he hopes to return to his home area, open a repair shop and concentrate on building his cow herd.

Avid collector: Ben Hay is passionate about his cows, but he is also an avid collector of Cub Cadet lawn and garden tractors.

Meanwhile, he has an interesting hobby. While his award certainly wasn't related to his hobby, it reflects his quest for knowledge and his mechanical ability. Those are skills that helped him operate a farm for cattle, and develop decision-making skills needed to successfully operate a beef cattle business.

Hay collects tractors. And they are mostly older tractors. But they're not Farmall Ms or John Deere 60s like many people collect. These are smaller – they are Cub Cadet lawn tractors. He currently has 15, more or less, in his collection, and he says he may not be done collecting yet. There are still a few models he would like to find.

His collection includes a green model, from the first series of Cub Cadet lawn tractors. For years, Farmall was famous for the Cub tractor. And while it had less horsepower than most garden tractors today, it was considered a tractor, not a garden tractor.

Related: Show respect for the FFA boys and girls in blue jackets

He also has a model 70, a Spartan-looking machine from the early days of Cub Cadet lawn tractors. He has many other models, and an inventory of parts to fix up models not yet restored. He has so many of them that he is currently building rack-type shelving so that he can lift them and store them on racks to create more barn space for other things.

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