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October 12, 2013

Farmers' museum to feature trove of tractors

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — There’s a fun way to learn about the agriculture in the daily life of central New York this weekend at the The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown.

Visitors on Saturday and Sunday will have an opportunity to view the Tractor Fest. It is a chance to learn about world of tractors and some of the activities they powered on New York farms, museum marketing associate David Buddle said. Classic and new tractors, as well as small engines and other machinery will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission to the Tractor Fest is included in the paid museum admission of $12 for adults (13 and older), $10.50 for seniors (65 and older), and $6 for children (7-12). Children 6 and younger are free, as are members of the New York State Historical Association.

There will be more than 30 pieces of farm equipment on display from the Tired Iron of Butternut Valley and Central New York Tractor Club, Buddle said. This is the fourth such event, and this year will see the largest turnout yet for tractors, he said. Good weather this weekend should lead to “terrific” attendance.

The Tractor Fest consists of mostly classic tractors, but members will bring engines, dating back to the 1920s, when they were introduced on area farms. There will also be demonstrations of thrashing and baling, among other features.

Gary Allen is president of the Central New York Tractor Club from Canastota.

“We were here last year and it was so successful the club is bringing a few more tractors,” he said. “It’s quite an honor for our club” to be part of such an event. A lot of the members were raised on farms that used tractors like those featured. “It’s a way to keep in touch with the past and keep the heritage alive,” he said.

His family used Allis-Chalmers tractors, and he has 22 in his collection.

“It’s history that will never be made again,” Allen said.

On Sunday, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., the Fest includes a tractor parade, starting at the museum and following a path that includes Main and Fair Streets before returning to the museum down Lake Street.

Other events on the schedule include: a collection of antique farm toys, free rides on the Empire State Carousel, kiddie tractor pull and an exhibit of antique milking machines.

Visitors can also visit their regular favorite attractions at the museum. “The colors on the trees are spectacular, so there will be a lot of photo opportunities,” Buddle said.

More information and discount coupons for the event are available at www.farmersmuseum.org.