10 years of tractors at Porter’s Harvest Festival

Photo by Deb Gau John Boulton stood by the John Deere R tractor he brought to the tractor and equipment show in Porter on Saturday.

PORTER — Porter’s Harvest Festival brings a lot of people together each year. It also brings a lot of traffic to North Sunrise Avenue, where for the past 10 years, classic and antique tractors have lined up for visitors to admire.

“We try to do something different every year,” said Porter resident Ken Hennen, one of the organizers of the tractor show.

As the tractor show celebrated its 10th anniversary, visitors were gathered around to see a demonstration of corn shelling, using equipment Hennen had collected. Volunteers pulled ears of corn down from the back of a trailer, and onto a conveyor to the shelling machine. Once the corn was shelled, an auger moved it to a different trailer.

Hennen estimated the corn shelling equipment dated back at least to the 1950s.

“It could be older. I know the auger is older,” he said. It was likely made in the 1930s.

Organizing the tractor and equipment show takes quite a bit of work for Ken and Linda Hennen. But, Ken Hennen said, “I enjoy doing it. We both look forward to it.”

Visitors and participants have fun, too. There were stories behind every tractor at the show. John Boulton talked about the John Deere R tractor he drove into town on Saturday. Boulton said the tractor was bought from a dealer in Porter back in 1953. It cost $3,800, he said — which sounds like a bargain, compared to equipment prices today.

“It was the biggest tractor John Deere had at the time,” Boulton said. “We still use it on the farm every year.”

“It’s kind of neat to see,” Michael Petersen said of the tractor show. A lot of the tractors and equipment on display were things people might not otherwise get to see, he said.

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