Antique tractors from multiple states joined Wayne County Farm Bureau for the 12th Annual Wayne County Antique Tractor Drive held on Labor Day. Thirty-nine tractors participated in this year’s drive, which began and ended at Dagg’s Auction Company in Orchardville.
Tractors headed to Sam Dale Lake Conservation Area where they heard from Claudia Berg, who runs the Middle of Nowhere concessions in the park. During lunch at a park shelter, participants learned about the history of the park and Sam Dale Lake from Brian Hammond, with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources maintenance crew. Lunch was served by Melanie Brookman and the team from Skillet Fork Grill.
Following lunch, the tractors made a stop at the farm of Rich and Joy Greenwalt for homemade ice cream. Blake Woodard with Papertown Ag Services made a stop with a helicopter applicator and fertilizer drop spreader. Woodard and Papertown Manager Brandon Bullard talked to the participants about the use of the helicopter for their field applications.
- The Earl Smith Memorial Award for the oldest driver to 84-year-old Jack Fearn of Cisne, who drove a 1966 Farmall 8060
- Youngest Driver Award, Casey Opell of Fairfield, who drove a 1953 International Super H
- Oldest Tractor Award, Jackie Knackmus Jr. of Vincennes, Indiana, who drove a 1936 Allis Chalmers RC
- Most Original, Unrestored Tractor, Ted Hughes of Cisne, who drove a 1972 Massie Ferguson 175
- Farthest Driven, Blake Taylor of Evansville, Indiana, who drove 90 miles with a 1953 Ford Golden Jubilee
Winners received a 1/16 scale toy tractor.