Rebuilds combine engine
DES MOINES -Although he wasn’t a grand champion winner, the hard work and the hours spent in preparation for the Iowa State Fair beef show and 4-H static competitions, paid off for rookie fair exhibitor for Jake Brandt, 13, of Clarion, the son of Marty and Wendy Brandt.
Brandt entered an engine he restored from a John Deere LUC 12A pull-type combine, which earned a blue ribbon at the state fair.
Brandt said his grandfather, Morris Brandt, worked alongside him helping him with the restoration.
“My grandpa paid $20 for it, and it had been sitting in the shed and I wanted to restore it, make it look nice,” said Brandt.
The engine isn’t Brandt’s first restoration project he and his grandfather have worked on together.
“He’s into old tractors and stuff and I help him,” said Brandt. “I’ve helped him restore a John Deere 520 and a John Deere G High Crop.”
Brandt and his grandfather worked on the combine engine “on and off for an entire year” which involved taking in completely apart.
Some parts, Brandt said had to be sent away for repair, while they sandblasted, pounded dents out and painted, along with much of their engine work, on of their own.
Now that the Iowa State Fair is over, Brandt said he isn’t certain what will happen with the restored engine, but he said he thinks it would be fun to run a large ice cream maker and maybe leave it nice for other shows.
“I think it looks pretty good right now, a lot better than it did,” said Brandt. “It’s nice to see it not just sitting in the back of the shed and doing nothing.”
Although it was Brandt’s first year showing livestock at the Iowa State Fair, it was his second year making it to the fair exhibiting a restoration project.
Last year’s project, Brandt said, was a John Deere No. 5 sickle mower.
With two consecutive years bringing a restored piece of equipment to the Iowa State Fair, Brandt has his sights set on year No. 3.
Although Brandt has shown at the county level and other beef shows, it was a whole new experience at the Iowa State Fair.
“There are a lot of people, more people than your average show or expo,” said Marty. “You’re not only having to deal with your animal, but more people and more animals.”
Brandt competed in the intermediate showmanship class, earning sixth place and his Shorthorn market steer earned a fourth-place finish in its class.
“Next year I hope to bring down a John Deere Model D tractor,” said Brandt. “We already have begun the work and we will be taking most of it apart, besides the engine, because that works pretty good already.”
In fact, Brandt said, he disced and plowed seven acres of hay ground this spring with the tractor.
Restoring old equipment means more than just being able to show it off and earn ribbons at a fair for Brandt.
“It is fun to bring something back to where it can work and make it look nice,” he said.
Brandt said he is proud of his engine and his steer and had a fun time at the Iowa State Fair.
“He has worked very hard and has spent a tremendous amount of hours getting his steer ready for the county and state fairs,” said Wendy Brandt, Jake’s mother. “He is the hardest working 13-year-old I know, and we are very proud of him.”
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