Another Moffat County Fair has come and gone, and no matter what the age of participants, the experience held something special for everyone.
Closing out the fair festivities Sunday morning was the antique tractor pull by the Yampa Valley Antique Power Club. Revving up the engines of their vintage farm equipment, members got the chance to show what their machinery could do.
Members loaded up a sled with metal weights to test the capabilities of their rigs, some of which dated back decades. The vibrant green of brands such as Oliver and John Deere or the shiny red of McCormick showed the durability of gear built to last for many years.
Jim Madsen drove a 1953 Farmall Super M — a vehicle that has been part of his family for about 40 years — up and down the track at the Fairgrounds arena.
“We change gears to move the weights around and see how much it can pull over a distance depending on horsepower, but these can pull a lot of weight,” he said.
Large cylindrical weights weighing hundreds of pounds apiece had to be placed onto the sled with a forklift. Madsen said the smallest tractors can usually handle towing at least 3,000 pounds.
“It depends on each tractor and they’re all old so anything can happen,” he said.
The tractor pull Sunday was more for the members of the club, as opposed to the event Saturday, which received more spectators.
“It’s about getting together with friends who are interested in this kind of thing and just having some fun,” Madsen said.
For Madsen, the Power Club gives him a greater appreciation for the importance of farming in the region as exemplified by tractors that continue to chug along regardless of how many years pass.
“They’re simpler, and they’re just farm history,” he said.
The Yampa Valley Power Club will host another tractor pull during fall’s Sheep Wagon Days at the Wyman Living History Museum.
While the track was abuzz with the roar of engines, the rest of the fairgrounds were also hopping as fair participants of all generations pitched in to pack up the event.
Ethan Hafey and Bubba Harding, both 9, were hard at work assisting with the cleaning of the Swine Barn, dumping out a wheelbarrow of the floor sweepings. Though the chores were Hafey’s least favorite part of the process, he still had a lot of fun at the fair, participating in the swine show and archery.
“I liked how they have all the barbecue stuff and the bouncy houses for free and stuff and all the different barns and tractors and stuff around,” he said.
This was Hafey’s second year doing 4-H activities.
“I want to work with pigs next year, and I’ve been thinking about doing steer,” he said.
As she assisted in packing up barn materials, Shaylyn Buckley, 17, looked back on the 2013 fair with fond remembrance.
“This was probably my last year, so it’s kind of bittersweet,” she said. “I think the sale went a lot better than last year. I got more money for my pig this year, anyway.”
Buckley said she has enjoyed the agriculture environment, but as she moves on to other activities, there are parts she won’t miss.
“It’s going to be nice to not have to wake up so early,” she laughed.
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.