Getting my Farm & Antique Fix at the Midwest Ag Expo

Midwest Ag Expo

Yesterday my husband Keith and I braved the last of the Polar Vortex that paralyzed the Midwest! With temperatures S-L-O-W-L-Y rising we headed out to a Midwest Ag Expo. The drive was a beautiful, but frosty ride to the Gordyville horse arena where we got our fix. Our farm and antique tractor fix that is!

What is the Midwest Ag Expo?

The Expo is a cool farm show in Eastern Illinois almost to the Indiana border. The show had over 175 exhibitors and promotes farm, industrial, outdoor power equipment, dairy and farmstead mechanization industry and those that provide services. It is like a trade show for farmers per se!

What old stuff did we see?

Antique wise, my favorite sighting was two-fold. First was a beautiful International Harvester Scout belonging to the Harms family. Derek Harms told us that this lovely 1962 Scout that was in original condition. It also had a 3-point hitch that he thought was installed at the factory.

Midwest Ag Expo
This 1962 Scout owned by the Harms family is so cool!

My second favorite sighting was the lovely 1950 FWD Digger Truck that was restored by the Eastern Illinois Electric Co-op. The truck had been retired, then sold to a collector, then it was bought by a retiring co-op employee. Co-op employees then restored the truck and it is lovely. They have been taking it to parades and such. I hope it ends up at a few truck and tractor shows this year.

Midwest Ag Expo
Tim Frick of the Eastern Illinois Electric Co-op and patron Kevin Wolken pose with the beautiful restored FWD digger truck.

A quick Wikipedia search on the FWD company brought me this, “The Four Wheel Drive Auto Company, more often known as Four Wheel Drive, was a pioneering American company that developed and produced all-wheel drive vehicles. It was founded in 1909 in Clintonville, Wisconsin, as the Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company by Otto Zachow and William Besserdich.”

What new things did we see?

Perhaps the latest technology though was shown by Dustin Kurtz of Illinois Grain &Seed Equipment. He can show a potential buyer exactly what grain bins will look like on their property before they ever purchase them. 

Then the other new technology that knocked my socks off was a cool new mowing tractor by the Ventra Company. Sales Manager John Borrowman called, “The Swiss Army Knife of tractors” because it has 30 up front attachments.  The mowing tractor is famous for its slope mowing which Borrowman said can achieve a 30 degree or 8% slope.

Midwest Ag Expo
These fellows found a seat on the amazing “Swiss Army knife of tractors”.

What Else?

Well, I do write about old iron, so I was quite excited to see both the Friends of John Deere and the I & I antique Tractor & Gas Engine Club onsite. The I & I Club brought a lot of nice International Harvester Equipment to the Expo which my husband Keith and I enjoyed looking at.

Midwest Ag Expo
The Friends of John Deere were reminding us of the upcoming Half Century of Progress.

The two clubs also shared some upcoming events that you may want to mark your calendars for.

Mark Your Calendar!

The I & I Club will be hosting their Annual Spring Auction conducted by the Gordon Hannagan Auction Company.

The auction will be March 22-23 at the Penfield grounds.  “Friday starting at 5:00 they will have a toy auction and Saturday a consignment equipment auction,” Betty Besyl added.

For more information to consign toys, contact Barry Maury at 217-202-0967 to consign equipment, contact Chuck Stelter at 217-497-7686. 

The I & I group were also sharing information about the Historic Farm Days which will be at Penfield Illinois July 11-14, 2019 featuring International Harvester.  Log onto or call 217-595-5000 for more details.

The Friends of John Deere were supporting the upcoming Half Century of Progress. Touted as the “World’s Largest Vintage Working Farm Show” the event will take place this coming August 22-25, 2019.  The event will offer daily demonstrations, tractor pulls and tractor drives.  All brands of equipment are welcome!  For more information about the show, log onto , or call 217-565-5000.

Farm shows always amaze me with the variety of topics they cover. This Expo had exhibits from banking to hemp that healed pain to mowing with an iMow to 3D technology. Head to a farm show or any trade show and see for yourself some of the latest technology and educated yourself and get your fix!

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  1. Erin | The Epicurean Traveler

    Even though I’m not a car enthusiast, I found the technology showcased at the Detroit Auto Show fascinating. I could see having the same experience at a farm expo. These kinds of shows have so much to take in and learn! The mowing tractor with 30 attachments sounds pretty amazing!

  2. Pamela McKuen

    I love the virtual reality aspect of seeing how the grain bins will look on your property. I know farming is rugged work but hope that modern-day technology can make some aspects easier for our agricultural heroes! (And maybe even add a little fun.)

    1. Cindy

      Wasn’t that the truth, it was so cool!

  3. Chelsey | The Wisconsinista

    I love attending expositions and seeing people with similar interests come together in support of an industry they work in or benefit from! The juxtaposition of newer technology with vintage models is always so cool. I’ve never been to an agricultural expo, but will definitely add this to my list!

    1. Cindy

      I loved both the antique and new at this show!

  4. Theresa

    Looks like a bit of both old and new, and it looks like it was a great show! That Half Century of Progress also sounds like it will be a great event, with lots of fun.

    1. Cindy

      Thanks Theresa, it was fun and the Half Century is a one of a kind show!