WOW! What An Expo!


| January/February 1996



Rockol tractor

Rockol tractor shown at last summer's 'Ageless Iron Expo.'

Stemgas Advertising Manager

Back in July, Successful Farming finally had their dream of an 'Ageless Iron Exposition' materialize. The expo was created to fund a non-profit foundation that will support the hobby with scholarships and donations as well as to introduce new people to this great family hobby. After being contacted by Dave Mowitz, machinery editor , GEM decided to participate in this world's fair of antique farm machinery.

Needless to say, I was excited about representing us in Ankeny, Iowa. I knew I had to convey this enthusiasm to my husband Ken. Somehow, driving 1000 miles to Iowa in a van packed full of magazines and books doesn't have too much appeal! Well, I must have presented a pretty good picture, because I even had our friends Andy Lutz and Meg Melat asking to travel with us. They are basic 'city dwellers' so I was having great difficulty wondering why they wanted to spend the 4th of July with tractors and engines in Iowa.

The reason I had these misgivings was that I, too, came from the same background. When I started at GEM, I knew virtually nothing about the hobby except that you could find a tractor on a farm. Any other 'farm information' my husband would enlighten me with, since he has a rural upbringing. My ignorance has definitely turned to appreciation for the love of the hobby. I thought maybe I could convert my friends. This expo had numerous activities for the whole family, so I figured they would, indeed, have an adventure.

The expo was held July 1-4 on a 200-acre site at the Aviation Expo grounds just off Interstate 80 and Interstate 35 interchange. There was definitely much to see and do. I gave Andy and Meg the camera, and sent them off to enter a new world of antique farm equipment. There was something for everyone. In the sea of tents you could find crafts, farm toys, a trade show area with everything from decals to spare tires, and a publications area, where we were located. If you were a serious collector, you definitely would want to attend the many restoration clinics. On Monday, there was an opportunity for tractor lovers to bid on some forty tractors put up for auction. It was my chance to see Nixon Auctioneers hard at work!

Children had no time to be bored! They could participate in kiddie tractor pulls, ride the Ding-a-Ling railroad, or play in the children's activity center. This area was a parent's delight strategically placed behind the grandstands where the antique tractor pulls and parade of power were held each day. There were tractors built out of wood for the children to climb and a sand pit under roof where some serious digging could be found.