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Tractor Collecting and Young People


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  #1  
Old 06-11-2019, 08:35:06 AM
G Willikers G Willikers is offline
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Default Tractor Collecting and Young People

This has surely been discussed on here before, but I guess it is something that needs to be considered now and then.
I have been chatting with people about this a bit lately. Others are looking for ways to draw younger people into our hobby and to keep them here.
There have even been discussions about Stak and how to bring people back from alternate internet forums.
I know that our correspondent from Fillmore has had some discussions about this with his friends, so I won't steal his thunder about a few ideas that are easily done that he has of spreading the word outside our hobby groups.
In the US, you have 4H and FFA groups which have tractor restoration programs. Up here we do have 4H but it does not seem to be very active any more. We do not even have a Boy Scouts troop in the village any more.
There are some good young people involved in the hobby, but are there enough to maintain the hobby into the future?.
I do not have many suggestions other than for us olde buggers to be more accepting and allow the younger people to find their own level, even if they make some mistakes. I was looking at a railway preservation site and there are some serious issues right now with clubs and collections falling apart. A common denominator there is "cliquism" and older heads who will not cede control until the whole damned thing is caving in. We have seen that around here in some of the good old shows which have disappeared.
Anyway, looking for thoughts?
Thanx.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:18:20 AM
StrikeForce StrikeForce is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

As a younger member at many of our local shows, I had once thought it was the "activities" that was part of the reason. I have concluded the "activities" are what the people who attend allow them to be. For example, this past weekend at our local show, it was around noon on Sunday and there was a crowd of older folks around the band shell listening to old time music with some engines running in the background. It was a good and relaxing time for those who wanted to be there. It wasn't a show for flash, bang, and short attention spans.

Conversely, the same weekend, there was a wine tasting event at a park in the town over. It was packed full of well dressed youngsters sipping on wine samples and eating modern food truck snacks. The people attending each event were very unlikely to cross over to the other event. It is just how it is; cant force what people are interested in.

To tie this all together, where I have really noticed this is when I go to hire people for our business. I would rather hire people from the engine show who should be retired than people from the wine tasting event who should just be getting to their prime.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:43:32 AM
Kelly Tytlandsvik Kelly Tytlandsvik is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Let the young people "help"! See post 340 in my trip to Crosby. Let them help thread pipe even if they need a little more muscle. Let them put the pipe dope on the fitting and your fingers. Pretty soon Sarah will be driving the Waterloo Boy just like her brother. And who know Sam by then might be in Trade school or working in a shop. It is the interest at this young age that can plant the seed for future Tractor/Engine enthusiasts. As you can see from that post the Simmons family have done a good job at cultivating the interest! Other names come to mind as well......Benjamin and Joseph Roth I have seen both grow up around the show! Bodie Turner. Steven Johnson......This is just to name a few. These people have a keen interest in our hobby. I am sure there are others out there with similar stories. We need them to keep our hobby going!

Kelly T
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:57:53 AM
Murph Murph is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

I agree with the part about "older heads" not wanting to try any new ideas or getting off of the that's the way we have always done it mind set. Things do change whether we like it or not.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:59:01 AM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Without going on a long spill I ran into that "clicism" stuff back when I wanted into the model T hobby.
As soon as I would walk up to a old guy that I was told had some T parts or whatever,they would assume I was building 1 of those damn hotrods and most would not even speak to me.
A couple did and for that when I drove my 1 Ton T truck past the doubters at the 2005 Denton threshers reunion, their jaws dropped and from then on I had no trouble explaining what I was doing.
Old men need to quit assumeing the young guy is a fool before they give him a chance to open his mouth.
And the old men also need to learn that their knowledge should be shared,not carried to the grave with them.THAT is 1 of the bigger problems. Share the knowledge,get it out there and the hobby can stay together.Todays world is alot faster paced than it was 50 years ago or longer and folks don't have alot of time to learn the hard way and spend 20 years on a project.Teach them so they get the project done in the time they have and can enjoy it before they get frustrated and you see the project in a pile at the junk yard. Most young folks can't afford to go buy all the tools they need right off the bat,help them out by letting them use a sandblaster or a puller or whatever.Start sharing and helping,don't sit back and wonder what if.
Also,l know a 1990 Ford tractor is not a antique by our standards.But the young folks today,that is what they grew up around.If 1 wants to save his grandpals 1990 ford,help them,when they see your older stuff, if they are really interested, a older tractor may be in their future.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:40:01 AM
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Aside from the hobby, give younger folks the time of day and you will turn them into patriotic, caring and productive citizens. Take time to give them a hello or ask them how things are going, you will be surprised next time you see them when they say hello first or tell you more than just "okay" when you ask how they are. Kids like hands on at the show, we need to take time to show them the best of our experiences, safety and proper maintenance, etc. The history of everything is a good teacher and parallels many things in life. Make kids know that we care about them and that they are important, not just in the way and too full of questions.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:28:27 PM
John Rhodes John Rhodes is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

I guess I am no longer one of the young guys at 33 but I use to be a few years ago. I see a couple of things that hinder young people from getting involved in our hobby of tractor collecting and restoration. I was lucky to be exposed to the really neat old steel wheel tractors through my grandfather and my father at a young age. Big fly wheels spinning, oil flying, dirt and smoke spit all over you, what is not to love when you are a 10 year old! When I got into high school, my interest waned a bit but then came back when my dad allowed me to restore my first tractor. Now I can't stop.

The exposure to the really cool old stuff is what drives young people to enjoy the shows and come back year after year. Having demonstrations using the really old stuff is even better. Allowing kids to get their hands dirty and help fix things, is the best. Once I cranked and started my Huber there was no turning back.

1. There needs to be the steam engines and there needs to be the big old tractors that OSHA will never approve at the shows in order to draw the wine tasters over the road. No one can resist watching a heavy weight Rumely or a 65 hp Case. Pay the extra for the trucking and the advertising because you will recoup that and more with the ticket sales when you have the big stuff.

2. Once the wine tasters are in have activities and invite parents and kids to ask questions or help out. Making sure it is somewhat safe.

3. After all of that perhaps we as collectors need to be more open with our stuff. I know we are the most paranoid group of people in the world and some of that is with good reason, but when we squirrel the good stuff away and not let people enjoy it how will they ever come to love what we know?

On a side note, the cost of the good stuff is also keeping the younger generation from collecting and restoring. There is really nothing that can be done about that. It is what the market dictates.

Those are my thoughts for what it is worth.

John
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:56:14 PM
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

On the cost, I noticed that there are still a lot of younger folks buying and fixing F-20 Farmalls these days. Myself, I think that is very encouraging, and these are well built, affordable operator and mechanic friendly old machines. Some years ago we featured IHC at our show and I had an older member tell me; "oh great, 300 F-20's". THAT is why we have problems, some folks selfishly want only to see their preferences at the show, that's not what keeps them alive. The variety will draw more people and definitely, the working exhibits are a huge plus. I also have some scratch and dent exhibits that no child will get screamed at for sitting on, that I think helps some. If it's a painted unit I will make sure kids know how to keep them nice, that will also keep them from having a bad experience at the show.
F-20's now, maybe something older and rarer later after the bug bites, if not I believe every exhibit is welcome the same from the common to the rare. That's how we keep folks interested and coming again.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:43:00 PM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Mentioning the F-20's,which I like, got me thinking.I must admit,300 B John Deeres,strangly all the exact factory "color" in a row, gets my goat but I would not hinder them 1 second as the people must like them. Looks like a rainbow that is sick to it's stomach with all the different shades of "correct" green!
But most do the best they can.So just let them have fun.
And don't laugh at the guy with the F-20 or the B Allis chalmers or whatever.He might not can afford a Waterloo Boy ye know?
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:56:48 PM
Wayne Riedlinger Wayne Riedlinger is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

When I start a tractor at our show I never get on and drive them.I always say to one of the young fellows and sometimes even older guys here you take it out there to field and drive around abit before you park it in the line up. Had some repeat customers every year. Could use more though.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:49:27 PM
Bob Willman Bob Willman is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

We have had this discussion in our blacksmith group which has a lot of gray hair. We had a few public events where we invited anyone who wanted to try their hand at hammering hot iron to get them involved. The TV program "Forged in Fire" and our website brought in several younger folks. Our website indicated about 30 - 40 daily visitors until one day in November a couple of years ago we had 150+ hits. When I mentioned at a meeting that I wondered what happened one of the new guys indicated that was the day he put us on Facebook. In the last 2 or 3 years we have signed up around 15 new members. I probably have close to 20 folks that have contacted me through our website that I send an e-mail to before each meeting that have not joined our group yet but maybe they will someday. I am not on Facebook so I do not know how many followers we might have there.
I also belong to a antique farm machinery group and we have a 50-50 raffle at our annual banquet. The 50% we keep we donate to either a local 4H or FFA high school club. I think the best way is to get them involved.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:36:15 PM
David Hoover David Hoover is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Some of the apparent high rollers are using old iron as a commodity to hide large sums of money in an untraceable stash. That’s a new level of sad in my mind. It keeps the old stuff out of the hands of those who appreciate it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:19:40 PM
b7100 b7100 is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Offer free beer and hot dogs,
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:37:36 PM
Duey C Duey C is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Some very good thoughts above this ramble.
During my teeth-cutting years (20+ lots of years ago) on large stationary engines, my best friend and older mentor was very suspicious of a little bit of coiled wire I wanted to add under an oiler so the upper crosshead and guide would catch and use every drop the oiler let down instead of losing every other drop. I had to explain it carefully and he was still quite suspicious I’d wreck something.
Worked like a charm. Loosening the “wrist pin” brasses just a little bit in that same crosshead was another hurdle. It stopped the rod from shuddering any more tho.
Years later, I let a young kid “in”, he was 14 or 15 then. He’ll grow up and older as a good engine man while I grow OLD. Another one of our lady operators is very good to him too, she knows he’s worth gold too. He loves to fire, enjoys the heck out of using the steam powered water pump, is just fantastic/careful about using the valving in the building, likes to use the oil can and can start that sweetheart like no-one’s business. Well, we do have our little secrets there too that I’m teaching him.
He also likes his old Maul chainsaws and leaning back on the valve rod as it gently sways back and forth AND I let him.
He’s odd as hell but so am I and my engine-building friends/operators/caretakers!

Perhaps we also need to be very keen on noticing the ones in the crowd that WANT to come IN for a closer look.

I thanked every post but one and that post I chuckled and agree with. Bah, I like the more affordable tractors more anyhow.
That is kinda true b7. "Here, have a beer and watch this engine or tractor start up!" The night life at a show I attend is outstanding.
2 penny’s.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:43:55 PM
Mike McKnight Mike McKnight is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

I grew up in the hobby myself, I remember being that young boy, all wide eyed seeing a steam engine or early gas tractor roll by and thinking "I wish I was up on that thing!" Over the years, I've tried to make sure when I'm chugging around on a steamer, if I see a young person there with big wide eyes, to ask them if they'd like a ride. And anyone that asks to get up on the platform and take a pic, I'll say "Don't touch the black stuff, that's hot...and then say sure, that's what they're here for!"

I started out with the B JD's and F-20's myself....then with the cheaper hit and miss engines, before I got into steam. We need to welcome the young folks with open arms, whatever kind of equipment they have to display.

Even after I got into steam, I had an old timer or two that didn't know me look at me suspiciously when I'd get on a steam engine, even though I'd been running them for years at that point! Now I've got a little more grey in my hair and face, not so much. It tickled me a couple of years ago when I told some young fellow that I'd bought my first steamer in 1996, and he said "That's the year I was born!"

Keep trying with the young folks!

Mike
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:00:11 PM
G Willikers G Willikers is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Thanks to everyone for their ideas. Much appreciated.
I wasn't all that young when I started collecting and showing tractors - maybe early 30s.
However, one show stands apart from the others. I was asked, maybe 25 years ago, to take the Beaver tractor to the Tri-County Heritage show at Ilderton, Ontario. It was a good show, but what stood out was that every one of the club executive and many members made a point of stopping by and thanking me for coming and putting in the effort to bring my tractor and put on a show. That counted more than any ribbons or prizes.
I guess maybe it is the simple things that count.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:48:00 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

I agree with all that has been said above. Getting young kids involved and interested is a big one. But I want to emphasize that that holds true with people of ALL ages! I think too often we assume that if you don't get hooked young and grow up around it, then there is no hope in bringing you into the old stuff hobbies.

NOT TRUE! I didn't really grow up around old iron. Grandpa didn't have any old cars or tractors, and Dad only had one kinda old tractor (D15 Allis) as a piece to actually use. It wasn't until my freshman year of College that I met a good tractor buddy that started to get me into old Allis Chalmers tractors. The tractor bug bit me so hard that year, that by finals week at the end of freshman year I had bought my first tractor, my Allis C.

Now I'm 34 and my line when people ask how many tractors I have is "I quit counting at a dozen."

So the point I am trying to make is that ANY age person can be brought into this hobby. Even my Dad is getting hooked since I started collecting. Working on my junk he realized how much fun and rewarding it can be to problem solve how to fix things and the feeling of satisfaction to finally get something running that hasn't in god knows how many years. And we are continually learning something, often by our mistakes. All the more reason to share your knowledge with others, might prevent someone a headache down the road.

So by all means, ask the little kids if they want a ride, or want to help, etc... But don't forget the ask the "big kids" or even the "old guys" the same thing. Chances are they are that same little kid inside, wanting to pull the whistle on the steam engine, or take that old tractor for a lap around the field!

I know I do!
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:07:05 AM
JSWithers JSWithers is offline
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

I am the forever shameless promoter of all things Rollag. Over the years I have learned to keep my eyes open to the young (and old) people that are interested in what I'm doing whether it's at the show or the people I talk to in the various businesses I visit each day. I encourage them to come to Rollag. I encourage them to come find me. I encourage them to come help me. Many have taken up my offer. Many have moved on to other areas of the show. As long as they find something of I interest to them and they stick around I have done my part and our hobby (show) will continue to live and thrive.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:17:30 AM
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Im one of those that gained interest despite a few things, but my Grandfather took me to my first threshing show. He loved steam and threshing. Then my uncle collected old things some, and a local collector Bob Unruh loaned me some engineers and engines magazines and sold me a 1 1/2 hp Deere and a Maytag. Uncle Dan sold me my first tractor, a 22-36 and then an F-20.
My Dad asked me "what do you want to save that old junk for? We were glad when we got rid of it." And Dad's uncle Lester I would try to pry stories out of him about the good old days during harvest. Lester would say "you don't want to hear about those days, they were TERRIBLE! "
Joined a great local club, brought my almost running 22-36 there for the first time and had a guy named Jerry Toews welcome me to the show with enthusiasm, something I will never forget. Most everyone else was fairly standoffish for a time but Jerry was keyed up.
That's all it takes, a short welcome and a short welcome back. And as this forum/site demonstrates every day, this tractor/engine crowd is very helpful when a person needs sound advice on a repair or on operation when needed. Great bunch of folks in this hobby and great life examples compared to some other organizations/hobbies you could join. I think the extra effort to interest younger folks is pretty commonly practiced by a majority of these folks anyway, has been for decades. A reminder is good tho, as the summer show months make us old guys spend an enormous amount of enthusiasm on visiting and demonstrations with our old friends and still then have to find time for the curious newcomers.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:52:56 AM
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Default Re: Tractor Collecting and Young People

Quote:
Originally Posted by b7100 View Post
Offer free beer and hot dogs,
i was thinking this, but you just said it out loud.
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