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Amid the latest, shiniest tractors at the Southern Idaho Ag Show, these old-timers celebrate a different era

Posted at 5:40 PM, Feb 01, 2024

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The Southern Idaho Ag Show runs through Saturday at the Eldon Expo Center at the College of Southern Idaho. Packed with modern, massive, sophisticated tractors, and all manner of ag services to catch the eye of today's farmer. Among them, a group of antique tractor enthusiasts gather to remember a simpler time.

  • The Magic Valley Antique Tractor Pullershold monthly meetings and attend numerous events around the Magic Valley throughout the year.
  • Most people will find them at one of the several county fairs where they exhibit.
  • The Southern Idaho Ag Show is open Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1st and 2nd from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 3rd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Al Barkl grew up on a farm

Al says, "Originally I farmed with horses. Raked hay, mowed hay with horses plowed cultivated corn with horses."

Now Al maintains a few international harvester tractors, like this 1980 Club Cadet, which wins ribbons and comes in handy in all seasons.

"(I’ve) pushed snow with three times this year. I have a 50-inch mower that goes under it. They're well-built, last forever," said Al.

And while modern farmers cover a lot more acres and the equipment carries vastly higher price tags, Al and his friends in the Magic Valley Antique Tractor Pullers are keeping the history alive.

"I was raised on the farm and that's what I grew up with. Plowed with the 1950 Farm Rose with the 2-row corn picker, mowed hay," says Al.

The club holds monthly meetings and plans to appear at a handful of events, like Sagebrush Days and several Magic Valley fairs.

Harry Sanders has a fondness for old hand tools. He worked for the city of Twin Falls as a mechanic for 40 years.

”I am a collector of the old dry taps and dies,” Harry said.

Harry stays involved with the Magic Valley Tractor Pullers as a way to stay busy in retirement.

"The newer stuff don't last as long as the old stuff," Harry said.

While there is plenty to catch the eye of the modern farmer at the Ag Show, this group of old-timers are well worth a visit while at the Expo Center.

“This is all the things I'm interested in. All the old stuff, all that new stuff let the farmers have it,” Al said.