NWSS crowd enjoys 10th Annual Antique Tractor Exhibition | TheFencePost.com

NWSS crowd enjoys 10th Annual Antique Tractor Exhibition

Lincoln RogersMobs of visitors flocked through the stock show's stadium arena all day long in order to take a close look at the 60 entries in the 10th Annual Antique Tractor Exhibition.

Stock show visitors of all ages crowded the National Western Stock Show stadium arena the first Saturday of the event, eager to see 60 restored entries in the 10th annual Antique Tractor Exhibition. Folks ranging from rural roots to big city backgrounds admired the quality machines on display throughout the arena. Even those with a history in restoring tractors enjoyed the show.

“I like to see what’s new in the collector part of it,” said Bill Myers of Parker, Colo. Myers is an avid antique tractor enthusiast, rebuilding mostly John Deeres over the last 20 years. “I like to see what people have done, see the new, different stuff and get around the people who are collectors like myself. You’re seeing a pretty good cross section of good tractors here.”

It’s not just getting around the people and equipment that is so enjoyable to a fan like Myers, it’s also the chance to scratch the restoration itch in a big way.

“You get rejuvenated a little bit after coming to a show like this,” Myers described. “Probably the most enjoyable part of it all is to take something that’s a rust-bucket to begin with and you crank it over for the first time. You know, the old adrenaline starts running pretty good,” he said with a smile. “It’s a fun hobby and I enjoy it.”

It wasn’t just enthusiasts enjoying the exhibition at the stock show, parents and children comprised a sizeable percentage of the crowd.

“We love the tractors,” said a laughing Joe Silla of Elizabeth, Colo., when asked why his family stopped by the exhibition. “We live in the country and my son (Samuel – 3 years old) loves tractors.”

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His wife, Jodie, concurred.

“We were walking by here and there was no way we were getting past the exhibit without Sam checking all the tractors out,” she added on the subject while Samuel and a couple of friends proved her right by pretending to drive a nearby gray Ferguson model with dual headlights and an old black steering wheel.

That kind of enthusiasm is music to the ears of organizer Ken Bleichwehl.

“The kids coming in and sitting on the tractors and taking pictures, that’s the key to us and our success for the future,” said Bleichwehl, who has organized the exhibition from its inception 10 years ago, an inception that occurred almost on a whim.

“James Goodrich (NWSS Livestock Manager at the time) and I were standing in the stadium arena in 1999 and I said, ‘James you know what would really be cool in here? An Antique Tractor show,’ ” said Bleichwehl when describing how the whole thing got its start. “(Goodrich) stood there and thought about it for about 10 minutes and then he said, ‘You know what? That would be cool … because the antique tractor thing is preserving the heritage and that’s what the stock show is.’ “

After revealing the roots of the exhibition, Bleichwehl discussed what it takes to keep it going every year.

“I constantly work on this on my own,” he said about his passion in seeing it continue. “As soon as the dates are locked in by the NWSS, which is usually about June/July, as soon as I know the dates and times, I put my own flyer together, I distribute it myself and get to as many people as I know. In 2002, we sent out 500 flyers, but that wasn’t cost effective. So it’s been word of mouth since.”

It’s not just the organizers and participants that make the event a success and keep it coming back. The general public’s response plays a very important role.

“The biggest thing the public can do, if they still want to see this every year, is people need to respond back to the NWSS,” encouraged Bleichwehl.

“Write a letter, e-mail, let them know they would like to see the tractors there. I’m going to keep doing this as long as they let me,” he summed up regarding the exhibition. “When we parade through the grounds, the people watch and follow in. People love them (and) farming wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for these tractors. Restoring them is a great way to preserve our heritage.” v

Stock show visitors of all ages crowded the National Western Stock Show stadium arena the first Saturday of the event, eager to see 60 restored entries in the 10th annual Antique Tractor Exhibition. Folks ranging from rural roots to big city backgrounds admired the quality machines on display throughout the arena. Even those with a history in restoring tractors enjoyed the show.

“I like to see what’s new in the collector part of it,” said Bill Myers of Parker, Colo. Myers is an avid antique tractor enthusiast, rebuilding mostly John Deeres over the last 20 years. “I like to see what people have done, see the new, different stuff and get around the people who are collectors like myself. You’re seeing a pretty good cross section of good tractors here.”

It’s not just getting around the people and equipment that is so enjoyable to a fan like Myers, it’s also the chance to scratch the restoration itch in a big way.

“You get rejuvenated a little bit after coming to a show like this,” Myers described. “Probably the most enjoyable part of it all is to take something that’s a rust-bucket to begin with and you crank it over for the first time. You know, the old adrenaline starts running pretty good,” he said with a smile. “It’s a fun hobby and I enjoy it.”

It wasn’t just enthusiasts enjoying the exhibition at the stock show, parents and children comprised a sizeable percentage of the crowd.

“We love the tractors,” said a laughing Joe Silla of Elizabeth, Colo., when asked why his family stopped by the exhibition. “We live in the country and my son (Samuel – 3 years old) loves tractors.”

His wife, Jodie, concurred.

“We were walking by here and there was no way we were getting past the exhibit without Sam checking all the tractors out,” she added on the subject while Samuel and a couple of friends proved her right by pretending to drive a nearby gray Ferguson model with dual headlights and an old black steering wheel.

That kind of enthusiasm is music to the ears of organizer Ken Bleichwehl.

“The kids coming in and sitting on the tractors and taking pictures, that’s the key to us and our success for the future,” said Bleichwehl, who has organized the exhibition from its inception 10 years ago, an inception that occurred almost on a whim.

“James Goodrich (NWSS Livestock Manager at the time) and I were standing in the stadium arena in 1999 and I said, ‘James you know what would really be cool in here? An Antique Tractor show,’ ” said Bleichwehl when describing how the whole thing got its start. “(Goodrich) stood there and thought about it for about 10 minutes and then he said, ‘You know what? That would be cool … because the antique tractor thing is preserving the heritage and that’s what the stock show is.’ “

After revealing the roots of the exhibition, Bleichwehl discussed what it takes to keep it going every year.

“I constantly work on this on my own,” he said about his passion in seeing it continue. “As soon as the dates are locked in by the NWSS, which is usually about June/July, as soon as I know the dates and times, I put my own flyer together, I distribute it myself and get to as many people as I know. In 2002, we sent out 500 flyers, but that wasn’t cost effective. So it’s been word of mouth since.”

It’s not just the organizers and participants that make the event a success and keep it coming back. The general public’s response plays a very important role.

“The biggest thing the public can do, if they still want to see this every year, is people need to respond back to the NWSS,” encouraged Bleichwehl.

“Write a letter, e-mail, let them know they would like to see the tractors there. I’m going to keep doing this as long as they let me,” he summed up regarding the exhibition. “When we parade through the grounds, the people watch and follow in. People love them (and) farming wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for these tractors. Restoring them is a great way to preserve our heritage.” v

Stock show visitors of all ages crowded the National Western Stock Show stadium arena the first Saturday of the event, eager to see 60 restored entries in the 10th annual Antique Tractor Exhibition. Folks ranging from rural roots to big city backgrounds admired the quality machines on display throughout the arena. Even those with a history in restoring tractors enjoyed the show.

“I like to see what’s new in the collector part of it,” said Bill Myers of Parker, Colo. Myers is an avid antique tractor enthusiast, rebuilding mostly John Deeres over the last 20 years. “I like to see what people have done, see the new, different stuff and get around the people who are collectors like myself. You’re seeing a pretty good cross section of good tractors here.”

It’s not just getting around the people and equipment that is so enjoyable to a fan like Myers, it’s also the chance to scratch the restoration itch in a big way.

“You get rejuvenated a little bit after coming to a show like this,” Myers described. “Probably the most enjoyable part of it all is to take something that’s a rust-bucket to begin with and you crank it over for the first time. You know, the old adrenaline starts running pretty good,” he said with a smile. “It’s a fun hobby and I enjoy it.”

It wasn’t just enthusiasts enjoying the exhibition at the stock show, parents and children comprised a sizeable percentage of the crowd.

“We love the tractors,” said a laughing Joe Silla of Elizabeth, Colo., when asked why his family stopped by the exhibition. “We live in the country and my son (Samuel – 3 years old) loves tractors.”

His wife, Jodie, concurred.

“We were walking by here and there was no way we were getting past the exhibit without Sam checking all the tractors out,” she added on the subject while Samuel and a couple of friends proved her right by pretending to drive a nearby gray Ferguson model with dual headlights and an old black steering wheel.

That kind of enthusiasm is music to the ears of organizer Ken Bleichwehl.

“The kids coming in and sitting on the tractors and taking pictures, that’s the key to us and our success for the future,” said Bleichwehl, who has organized the exhibition from its inception 10 years ago, an inception that occurred almost on a whim.

“James Goodrich (NWSS Livestock Manager at the time) and I were standing in the stadium arena in 1999 and I said, ‘James you know what would really be cool in here? An Antique Tractor show,’ ” said Bleichwehl when describing how the whole thing got its start. “(Goodrich) stood there and thought about it for about 10 minutes and then he said, ‘You know what? That would be cool … because the antique tractor thing is preserving the heritage and that’s what the stock show is.’ “

After revealing the roots of the exhibition, Bleichwehl discussed what it takes to keep it going every year.

“I constantly work on this on my own,” he said about his passion in seeing it continue. “As soon as the dates are locked in by the NWSS, which is usually about June/July, as soon as I know the dates and times, I put my own flyer together, I distribute it myself and get to as many people as I know. In 2002, we sent out 500 flyers, but that wasn’t cost effective. So it’s been word of mouth since.”

It’s not just the organizers and participants that make the event a success and keep it coming back. The general public’s response plays a very important role.

“The biggest thing the public can do, if they still want to see this every year, is people need to respond back to the NWSS,” encouraged Bleichwehl.

“Write a letter, e-mail, let them know they would like to see the tractors there. I’m going to keep doing this as long as they let me,” he summed up regarding the exhibition. “When we parade through the grounds, the people watch and follow in. People love them (and) farming wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for these tractors. Restoring them is a great way to preserve our heritage.” v

Stock show visitors of all ages crowded the National Western Stock Show stadium arena the first Saturday of the event, eager to see 60 restored entries in the 10th annual Antique Tractor Exhibition. Folks ranging from rural roots to big city backgrounds admired the quality machines on display throughout the arena. Even those with a history in restoring tractors enjoyed the show.

“I like to see what’s new in the collector part of it,” said Bill Myers of Parker, Colo. Myers is an avid antique tractor enthusiast, rebuilding mostly John Deeres over the last 20 years. “I like to see what people have done, see the new, different stuff and get around the people who are collectors like myself. You’re seeing a pretty good cross section of good tractors here.”

It’s not just getting around the people and equipment that is so enjoyable to a fan like Myers, it’s also the chance to scratch the restoration itch in a big way.

“You get rejuvenated a little bit after coming to a show like this,” Myers described. “Probably the most enjoyable part of it all is to take something that’s a rust-bucket to begin with and you crank it over for the first time. You know, the old adrenaline starts running pretty good,” he said with a smile. “It’s a fun hobby and I enjoy it.”

It wasn’t just enthusiasts enjoying the exhibition at the stock show, parents and children comprised a sizeable percentage of the crowd.

“We love the tractors,” said a laughing Joe Silla of Elizabeth, Colo., when asked why his family stopped by the exhibition. “We live in the country and my son (Samuel – 3 years old) loves tractors.”

His wife, Jodie, concurred.

“We were walking by here and there was no way we were getting past the exhibit without Sam checking all the tractors out,” she added on the subject while Samuel and a couple of friends proved her right by pretending to drive a nearby gray Ferguson model with dual headlights and an old black steering wheel.

That kind of enthusiasm is music to the ears of organizer Ken Bleichwehl.

“The kids coming in and sitting on the tractors and taking pictures, that’s the key to us and our success for the future,” said Bleichwehl, who has organized the exhibition from its inception 10 years ago, an inception that occurred almost on a whim.

“James Goodrich (NWSS Livestock Manager at the time) and I were standing in the stadium arena in 1999 and I said, ‘James you know what would really be cool in here? An Antique Tractor show,’ ” said Bleichwehl when describing how the whole thing got its start. “(Goodrich) stood there and thought about it for about 10 minutes and then he said, ‘You know what? That would be cool … because the antique tractor thing is preserving the heritage and that’s what the stock show is.’ “

After revealing the roots of the exhibition, Bleichwehl discussed what it takes to keep it going every year.

“I constantly work on this on my own,” he said about his passion in seeing it continue. “As soon as the dates are locked in by the NWSS, which is usually about June/July, as soon as I know the dates and times, I put my own flyer together, I distribute it myself and get to as many people as I know. In 2002, we sent out 500 flyers, but that wasn’t cost effective. So it’s been word of mouth since.”

It’s not just the organizers and participants that make the event a success and keep it coming back. The general public’s response plays a very important role.

“The biggest thing the public can do, if they still want to see this every year, is people need to respond back to the NWSS,” encouraged Bleichwehl.

“Write a letter, e-mail, let them know they would like to see the tractors there. I’m going to keep doing this as long as they let me,” he summed up regarding the exhibition. “When we parade through the grounds, the people watch and follow in. People love them (and) farming wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for these tractors. Restoring them is a great way to preserve our heritage.” v

Stock show visitors of all ages crowded the National Western Stock Show stadium arena the first Saturday of the event, eager to see 60 restored entries in the 10th annual Antique Tractor Exhibition. Folks ranging from rural roots to big city backgrounds admired the quality machines on display throughout the arena. Even those with a history in restoring tractors enjoyed the show.

“I like to see what’s new in the collector part of it,” said Bill Myers of Parker, Colo. Myers is an avid antique tractor enthusiast, rebuilding mostly John Deeres over the last 20 years. “I like to see what people have done, see the new, different stuff and get around the people who are collectors like myself. You’re seeing a pretty good cross section of good tractors here.”

It’s not just getting around the people and equipment that is so enjoyable to a fan like Myers, it’s also the chance to scratch the restoration itch in a big way.

“You get rejuvenated a little bit after coming to a show like this,” Myers described. “Probably the most enjoyable part of it all is to take something that’s a rust-bucket to begin with and you crank it over for the first time. You know, the old adrenaline starts running pretty good,” he said with a smile. “It’s a fun hobby and I enjoy it.”

It wasn’t just enthusiasts enjoying the exhibition at the stock show, parents and children comprised a sizeable percentage of the crowd.

“We love the tractors,” said a laughing Joe Silla of Elizabeth, Colo., when asked why his family stopped by the exhibition. “We live in the country and my son (Samuel – 3 years old) loves tractors.”

His wife, Jodie, concurred.

“We were walking by here and there was no way we were getting past the exhibit without Sam checking all the tractors out,” she added on the subject while Samuel and a couple of friends proved her right by pretending to drive a nearby gray Ferguson model with dual headlights and an old black steering wheel.

That kind of enthusiasm is music to the ears of organizer Ken Bleichwehl.

“The kids coming in and sitting on the tractors and taking pictures, that’s the key to us and our success for the future,” said Bleichwehl, who has organized the exhibition from its inception 10 years ago, an inception that occurred almost on a whim.

“James Goodrich (NWSS Livestock Manager at the time) and I were standing in the stadium arena in 1999 and I said, ‘James you know what would really be cool in here? An Antique Tractor show,’ ” said Bleichwehl when describing how the whole thing got its start. “(Goodrich) stood there and thought about it for about 10 minutes and then he said, ‘You know what? That would be cool … because the antique tractor thing is preserving the heritage and that’s what the stock show is.’ “

After revealing the roots of the exhibition, Bleichwehl discussed what it takes to keep it going every year.

“I constantly work on this on my own,” he said about his passion in seeing it continue. “As soon as the dates are locked in by the NWSS, which is usually about June/July, as soon as I know the dates and times, I put my own flyer together, I distribute it myself and get to as many people as I know. In 2002, we sent out 500 flyers, but that wasn’t cost effective. So it’s been word of mouth since.”

It’s not just the organizers and participants that make the event a success and keep it coming back. The general public’s response plays a very important role.

“The biggest thing the public can do, if they still want to see this every year, is people need to respond back to the NWSS,” encouraged Bleichwehl.

“Write a letter, e-mail, let them know they would like to see the tractors there. I’m going to keep doing this as long as they let me,” he summed up regarding the exhibition. “When we parade through the grounds, the people watch and follow in. People love them (and) farming wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for these tractors. Restoring them is a great way to preserve our heritage.” v