Antique Ag Expo Celebrates Roots of Illinois State Fair

By Matt Metcalf |

Published 08/15 2014 03:22PM

Updated 08/16 2014 11:01AM

ILLINOIS STATE FAIR -- When you're walking through the rows of antique tractors, you can't help but appreciate just how important farming has been in Illinois- and how important it is today.

That's just what the organizers of this year's Antique Agricultural Exposition are aiming for. Displays feature farm tools and equipment, from tractors and combines to an old farm truck, they want everyone with a connection to Illinois farming to stop by and relive the memories.

"When we first started this, we had antique tractors- but they were right off the field!" says Mike Hall, co-chair of the Expo. "Now farmers bring in equipment they've restored to top condition."

Click the video to see some of the new equipment on display this year and hear why those who restore old farm equipment are so passionate about their work.

The Antique Ag Expo can be found at the Illinois State Fair just east of the Midway. The display will run through the end of the Fair on Sunday.

Additional information about the Ag Expo (from press release):

Antique Agricultural Expo. 2014 is in Building 105, conveniently located between the carnival Midway and the fire station on the east side of the fairgrounds.  Inside are exhibits of antique tractors and early farming implements, as well as equipment demonstrations.  For 2014 we are pleased to exhibit a 1931 Chevrolet Farm truck, which has been rescued from a hog lot and just restored.   In its previous life it was the workhorse of a Central Illinois farm operation, hauling livestock to market, crops to the elevator, and much more.  Come by and take a look at this early piece of agricultural machinery that was the most versatile piece of equipment on the farm.

Secondly, we will have a 1979 Big Bud 525/50 tractor on display. Big Bud tractors were, at the time, the largest tractors being made.     The Big Buds were custom manufactured by Big Bud, Inc. in Montana, and the model on display today is a massive 16 feet wide, 13 feet tall, and has a capacity of a full 550-gallon tank, and with the 525 horsepower Cummins engine, it is capable of pulling a 90 foot wide field cultivator.

We are always pleased to have numerous other exhibits of antique tractors and agricultural equipment on display for the public to enjoy.  Many of these exhibits will be in operation on Agriculture Day, August 12, so come to the Director’s lawn to meet the owners and learn the history of this exhibit.    Today we have 93 antique tractors and various implements within the display. 

Again, the Antique Agricultural Expo,  is located in Building 105, just east of the carnival Midway, and if you’re riding the tram, we have a stop right across the street.

Stop by and see a lot of history all in one place.  We thank our sponsors’, including Beck’s Hybrids, The Illinois State Fair Museum , Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, Prairieland Heritage Museum,  Vintage Ag Association and other Illinois antique tractor associations.

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