Antique tractor show honors farming past

APPLETON – Lloyd Hermsen isn’t shy about his appreciation for antique tractors.

“It’s just like looking at a good looking woman!” he exclaimed, laughing.

Hermsen is a member of the Fox Valley Two Cylinder Club. The club has held an antique tractor show at the Petersen Dairy Farm in Appleton for more than 20 years. Monday they were back.

“6 of us started this and every year it grows more and more and more! It’s something to do, we have a lot of fun,” Hermsen explained.

But it wasn’t just tractors on display.

“Anything from tractors, cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles…if it’s old and neat, it’s here,” said Mark Petersen.

Petersen told FOX 11 these old machines let these farmers pay homage to the past.

“It’s fun to see the progress that the technology has come along in the last years, how far we’ve come along and it’s not always better,” he said.

And Hermsen will tell you, it’s not just technology that’s changed. So has the landscape for farmers in the Fox Valley since he bought his farm in 1962.

“When I bought it out there, my wife said, ‘why do you wanna be so far out in the country for?’ Now my land is surrounded with new houses,” Hermsen said.

So is the Petersen farm.

Hermsen told those changes aren’t all bad, but competing with bigger, factory-type farms is the hardest part.

“My father raised 11 of us on an 80 acre farm, you know, milking 16 cows, well that don’t happen today!” Hermsen exclaimed.

Petersen told the times do change and not always for the better, but farmers try to keep up.

“Very much so, yeah, you have to adapt to it and make the best of it,” he said, while remembering and respecting the past.

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