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A sea of yellow and red:

by Jo Chytka
Hemingford, Neb.
A1953 RTI MM Industrial tractor was on display at the show. Duke Hemberger and his wife from Loveland, Colo., brought this tractor for display. "It was used by both civilians and the military for pulling airplanes around on the pavement," Duke said. "I have 16 more MM tractors and 60 plus pedal tractors."

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The Farm And Ranch Museum (FARM) at Gering, Neb., was awash with the trademark colors of vibrant yellow and red representing Minneapolis Moline tractors and equipment during The Prairie Gold Rush Winter Convention, held March 6-8. People from 21 states attended, not only to feed their passion for all things Minneapolis-Moline, but to tour the area, see the sights, including businesses and geographic locations.

Prairie Gold Rush (PGR) is an organization for enthusiasts and collectors of Twin City (the precursor to the Minneapolis Moline) and MM farm equipment and tractors. They publish a quarterly magazine The Prairie Gold Rush and are one of the oldest collector organizations devoted to a particular type of equipment and tractors. PGR celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2007.

Organizers and hosts of the event were Jim and Cyndi Neuwirth, themselves, MM collectors. “We had 250 registered participants that were PGR folks with a total of well over 300 including local people,” Jim said. “I had a lot of wonderful help and we had many interesting things lined up to do, beyond just the activities at FARM that were MM related. A bus tour on Friday was filled to maximum with additional transportation to accommodate a total of 61. They had the opportunity to see places of interest in the area including the Kelley Bean operation, Brown Sheep Co. and a winery where they could purchase specially bottled MM labeled wine, called Holy Water with one named

Mighty MINNE.”

An ongoing, on-site activity was the conversion of an MM 2WD tractor to a 4WD. “The tractor was disassembled and all the components laid out for people to see, then put back together. Roughly 80-90 people rotated through to watch the process,” Neuwirth said.

On Saturday an auction was held with an amazing variety of MM related items up for bid, from numerous tractors parts, manuals, hats, lawnmower, pedal tractor and gas pumps to display shelves and toy tractors. “We had a large number of bidders with the ratio of out-of-town to locals being roughly half and half, with most of the buyers from out of town” Jim said.

“There were a number of people on tap who were planning on bringing their tractors for display purposes only, but those from Minnesota and Wisconsin were unable to, due to the weather, so we had fewer here than were planned.”

Many of the people at the convention aren’t farmers; so why the passion for the MM products? Some said their dads had an MM tractor, others had used them while employed by farmers, several were just attracted to the vibrant colors and still others just bought and sold the collectible tractors or salvaged parts as a business. The one common thread was that any who collect the MM tractors, (and we are talking full-size tractors here, not just toys) had numerous models and years. One gentleman has 62; other collectors claimed 14 and 18, while more just said “I have no idea.” One comment was, “until you don’t know how many you have, you don’t have too many!”

Vendors at the trade show, held during the three-day event, highlighted several other segments of the MM mania. Available for sale were shirts, caps, jackets, toys and garden stones, to name a few.

The Farm And Ranch Museum (FARM) at Gering, Neb., was awash with the trademark colors of vibrant yellow and red representing Minneapolis Moline tractors and equipment during The Prairie Gold Rush Winter Convention, held March 6-8. People from 21 states attended, not only to feed their passion for all things Minneapolis-Moline, but to tour the area, see the sights, including businesses and geographic locations.

Prairie Gold Rush (PGR) is an organization for enthusiasts and collectors of Twin City (the precursor to the Minneapolis Moline) and MM farm equipment and tractors. They publish a quarterly magazine The Prairie Gold Rush and are one of the oldest collector organizations devoted to a particular type of equipment and tractors. PGR celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2007.

Organizers and hosts of the event were Jim and Cyndi Neuwirth, themselves, MM collectors. “We had 250 registered participants that were PGR folks with a total of well over 300 including local people,” Jim said. “I had a lot of wonderful help and we had many interesting things lined up to do, beyond just the activities at FARM that were MM related. A bus tour on Friday was filled to maximum with additional transportation to accommodate a total of 61. They had the opportunity to see places of interest in the area including the Kelley Bean operation, Brown Sheep Co. and a winery where they could purchase specially bottled MM labeled wine, called Holy Water with one named

Mighty MINNE.”

An ongoing, on-site activity was the conversion of an MM 2WD tractor to a 4WD. “The tractor was disassembled and all the components laid out for people to see, then put back together. Roughly 80-90 people rotated through to watch the process,” Neuwirth said.

On Saturday an auction was held with an amazing variety of MM related items up for bid, from numerous tractors parts, manuals, hats, lawnmower, pedal tractor and gas pumps to display shelves and toy tractors. “We had a large number of bidders with the ratio of out-of-town to locals being roughly half and half, with most of the buyers from out of town” Jim said.

“There were a number of people on tap who were planning on bringing their tractors for display purposes only, but those from Minnesota and Wisconsin were unable to, due to the weather, so we had fewer here than were planned.”

Many of the people at the convention aren’t farmers; so why the passion for the MM products? Some said their dads had an MM tractor, others had used them while employed by farmers, several were just attracted to the vibrant colors and still others just bought and sold the collectible tractors or salvaged parts as a business. The one common thread was that any who collect the MM tractors, (and we are talking full-size tractors here, not just toys) had numerous models and years. One gentleman has 62; other collectors claimed 14 and 18, while more just said “I have no idea.” One comment was, “until you don’t know how many you have, you don’t have too many!”

Vendors at the trade show, held during the three-day event, highlighted several other segments of the MM mania. Available for sale were shirts, caps, jackets, toys and garden stones, to name a few.


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