By LARRY KERSHNER firstname.lastname@example.org It didn’t take long for market analysts reading the Aug. 12 Supply and Demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to respond by flooding the futures market with sell orders, especially by commercial traders
DES MOINES – One of the more unique exhibitors at the Aug. 14 FFA competition at the Iowa State Fair was Scott Evans, who brought a restored road maintainer and an Avery tractor for judging.
Evans, 16, of Iowa Falls, is a member of Iowa Falls-Alden FFA.
The 1946 Huber road maintainer, Evans said, was actually restored in 2014, but was completed a week too late for the fair.
In the meantime, he restored a 1948 B.F. Avery and brought both machines for the 2015 evaluation.
Evans said there were two of the Huber maintainers on his family’s acreage. The owner was paying rent for storing them.
“He didn’t want to pay the rent anymore,” Evans said, “so he gave them to us.”
One was green and the other was originally yellow.
He cannibalized one to restore the other and then decided he preferred construction orange for the paint.
The work was long and tedious, he said.
The cab’s roof was badly dented from banging into into obstacles such as low-hanging branches.
“It was just not fun,” Evans said. “I think it’s the only factory cab left.”
He said it took 25 hours just to hammer the dings out of the roof. “That’s pretty thin metal up there,” Evans said. “I never spent so much time on a tractor.”
The engine and transmission required total rebuilding and the blades needed replacing.
Evans said the restoration bug is common in his family.
In fact, he and his father, Jim Evans, are steam enthusiasts and enjoy working on and operating steam-powered machines.
Restoring old machines, Evans said, has taught him time management.
“I gave up my summer to finish the Avery,” he said. “At 16, you want to do other things.”
He said the Huber was not designed as a road grader, but only to make the road surface look better.
He’s used it on his family’s driveway.
“It’s hard to drive,” Evans said. “There’s no power steering and that blade up front is heavy.
“It has all hand controls – hand clutch and hand throttle, you run out of hands.”
Evans thinks the Huber, which he believes spent its working life in Nebraska, may be the only working model in Iowa.
“I don’t know how it got here,” he said.
Finished too late for the 2014 fair, Evans entered the Huber in the Delo National Tractor Restoration Contest in Louisville, Kentucky, where it was selected as a finalist.
The Avery is a tractor the family uses for mowing at his home. It was purchased three years ago, and he often referred to it as “the ugliest tractor in the world.”
Although it ran good, Evans said, it was grease and grime-covered and the front end dented from bashing into something sometime in the past.
He tore down the engine and transmission, replacing worn parts and inspected the wiring.
“I just couldn’t stand to be seen mowing with it anymore,” Evans said. “Now, it’s one of my favorite tractors.
“And with that tricycle front-end, it’s basically a zero-turn.”
He said it’ll likely continue to be the family’s lawnmower “until it dies again.”
Evans said he considers restorations more of a hobby than a money-making proposition.
“And someday I’d like to do one of the big Internationals or a 1030 Case.”
Just a few yards away from Evans was 18-year-old Kaitlyn Cowlham who was polishing her medium-sized International, a 1973 666.
This is her first tractor project, but she said restoring machines has been part of her family for 10 years.
It started with restoring pulling tractors, then her brother restored a 1066.
Restoring tractors grew from there.
Cowlham has an older sister who restored a 766 in last year’s competition.
She learned restorations “take a lot of time. I completely broke the tractor down to every piece, inspected and sanded them.”
Although she may not restore another tractor, Cowlham, a past president of her Odebolt-Arthur/Ida Grove-Battle Creek FFA chapter, she said she gained valuable ag mechanics skills by being part of tearing down the front-end and the hydraulic remote.
She finished the tractor in time to run it in the 2015 Odebolt Creek Days parade.
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