Attending a local tractor and machinery show is a wonderful way to reconnect with the agricultural history of our country. What can you expect to find? Tractor and machinery shows include many aspects of our agricultural past. These events are a great way to learn about how things were accomplished in days gone by.
Looking closer, and taking the time to explore the demonstrations and exhibits unveils a glimpse of farm life that we seldom see in this modern age. What was the work like and what is today’s modern tractor capable of doing? Also, this is the best place to compare tractor models when deciding which tractor would fit your farm needs. All this and more awaits you at the tractor and machinery show.
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Breaking it all down into a few prime categories, most tractor and machinery shows include demonstrations, competitions, a parade of farm equipment, displays of past equipment or a farm history museum, and a flea market. Each component of a show is interesting. The show grounds will be filled with rows and rows of tractors. All the common tractor paint colors will be there. Everyone has a favorite manufacturer. We all recognize the widely known John Deere Green, the Farmall, Oliver and Alis Chalmers, to name a few. If you are looking for a recommendation for a tractor to use on your homestead or small farm, there will be plenty of knowledgeable people on hand who are happy to share advice. With all the tractors on display at the show, it’s a great way to make a compact tractor comparison. You should be able to find one that meets your needs.
You can expect to see many demonstrations of past machinery. Often you can find information on the internet before attending. Look for a listing of what types of what demonstrations will be held. Blacksmithing, broom making, and basket weaving are often demonstrated. Steam operated sawmilling, threshing machinery and corn drying, give us a view of the manual work of days gone by. Steam operated machines used to power rock crushing and steam-powered plowing were common farm equipment pieces from the past.
Museums of Past Farm, Tractor and Machinery Artifacts
Members of various tractor and machinery clubs will often run a museum of donated antique farming and farm life displays. One that is particularly well done is the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland. Various aspects of our rural past are on display in a large fully renovated old barn.
The Mason-Dixon Historical Society hosts the fall Steam Show Days. This has one of the best flea markets attached to it, full of so many great, vintage finds from past eras.
Parade of Tractors and Machinery
Everyone loves a parade! The parade at the tractor and machinery show won’t include clowns and bands. It will include a wide assortment of antique tractors. The owners will shine them up and tune the engines just right. Decorations are sometimes added. The American flag is the most popular addition. An announcer will describe each participant’s tractor. There is always quite a variety and it’s obvious that the owners are heavily involved in curating their tractors.
The tractor pull is the highlight of every show. Pulling is an American past time! The different varieties of pulling competitions may be held at different shows. Horse pulling, antique tractor pulling, pro-stock tractor pulling, garden tractor pulling and truck pulling are a few options. Often the pulling contests run well into the night. The goal of the pulling competition is to see which team can pull the weighted metal sled the farthest along the track. For crowd pleasing, the souped up pro-stock tractors bring the noise and excitement.
Collectors and crafters will love the flea market that is part of the tractor show. There is a wide variety of merchandise on display for sale. There will probably be a lot of vintage farmhouse textiles and kitchen equipment. If walking among the antique tractors made you nostalgic for the past, you can find a treasure to take home. Pieces of Americana, vintage books, coins, and tools fill the tables. Pricing is varied, anywhere from less than one dollar to many dollars. Cast iron cookware is a frequently found treasure as are vintage chicken keeping items. Think about picking up a few extra tools for very little money. An extra hammer or a socket set often come in handy. Vintage windows, ladders, and textiles are fun to use in decorating around your farmhouse. You just never really know what treasures await you at the flea market.
Add in some old-fashioned fair goodness in the form of kettle corn, cotton candy or ice cream to make it a very special day. There are usually more substantial food choices such as barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs available for sale, too. Each fair will offer different goodies for purchase.
The tractor and machinery show will make a memorable outing for you and your family. To find the shows in your area visit sites such as Farm Collectors Show Directory.