By Staff

A recent meeting of well-known collectors of Massey-Harris
tractors and memorabilia confirmed that the province’s
collecting community is optimistic about the future of the Ontario
Agricultural Museum in Milton.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
recently announced the closure of the well-known museum. It will
face a 50% budget reduction in its 1996-97 fiscal year, and
provincial funding will cease on March 31, 1997. Since this
announcement was made, supporters of the museums have formed
Ontario’s Rural Heritage Preservation Committee, with the
stated purpose of ‘preserving the artifacts, archives,
buildings and site of the Ontario Agricultural Museum.’

Prior to the Province’s decision to close the museum, staff
had begun planning a major celebration in honour of the 150th
anniversary of Canada’s best-known farm machinery manufacturer,
Massey-Harris (more recently known as Massey-Ferguson) in 1997. The
Milton museum had been selected by an international
Massey-Harris-Ferguson enthusiasts’ organization as one of two
North American sites to ‘officially’ recognize this
milestone in agricultural history. A planning committee of
collectors from across Ontario had been formed, but their inaugural
meeting was canceled.

The hard work of Ontario’s Rural Heritage Preservation
Committee has impressed the members of the 150th Anniversary
Committee, and they met recently to consider the future of their
project. The result was their unanimous decision to begin the
planning process for what promises to be an exciting four day event
in July of 1997. ‘An important milestone like this will happen
only once in our lifetime,’ stated committee member Ken
Reichert of Ilderton, Ontario.

The 150th anniversary celebration is scheduled for July 17-20,
1997 as apart of the museum’s annual Great Canadian Antique
Tractor Field Days. It will feature scores of antique tractors,
engines, implements, literature and memorabilia made over the years
by Massey-Harris and related companies, including Sawyer-Massey,
Harry Ferguson Inc. and Massey-Ferguson. The museum’s own
extensive collection of related artifacts will also be showcased.
The committee plans many activities sure to appeal to collectors
and families alike.

For further information contact: Mr. Peter Led with, P.O. Box
38, Milton, Ontario, Canada L9T 2Y3 or days: 905-878-8151
(voice)/905-876-4530 (fax). Evenings: 519-856-4110 or at

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