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Ag Attractions

More than 300 families are part
of local antique tractor club

Members share the fun
and memories with each other

By Laura Goodwin
Contributing Writer

OSGOOD, Ind. (June 2011) – Jim Leap has always had an affinity for tractors. He came from a farming background, so they have always been a part of his life. His association with the Dearborn County F.A.R.M. Club helps him to connect with others who share this passion.

Farm Club Machinery

Photo provided

The Farming and Antique Related
Machinery (FARM) Club was founded
by Chuck Heck and his family
in the mid-1990s.

The Farming and Antique Related Machinery club was founded by Chuck Heck and his family in the mid 1990s. The club brings together tractor enthusiasts for camaraderie and fellowship. According to Heck, it encompasses members from eight counties. The club started having “showings” at local parades, moving then to the Aurora Moose Lodge. Later, as the club grew, it moved to Perfect North in Lawrenceburg, Ind.
In 2007, the club membership was up to more than 200 families. Since they had outgrown their area at Perfect North, they now needed another place to hold meetings and shows. That place became the current location – the Ripley County Fairgrounds. The shows, according to Heck, allow members and the public to “bring the family and share the memories.” The club membership now boasts more than 300 families.
Leap joined the group around 2003. He was born into a farming family who used Allis Chalmers equipment. He continued the family business until his retirement 25 years ago.
“Retired from farming, but not tractors,” he pointed out.
He owns eight tractors. They include seven Internationals and one Allis Chalmers. His love of Internationals came when he switched equipment types during his time as a farmer.
In Leap’s spare time, he naturally works on his tractors, as well as makes and sells crafts. His favorite part of participating with the club is the sharing of stories, which according to Heck, is a favorite of many. Heck explains, “It links them somehow to their past – the older days of farming. People are collecting equipment that they grew up with, passed on from their parents and/or grandparents.”
Leap’s advice to people who want to get into collecting tractors and showing them is to do their research. “They need to do their checking before starting on one,” he said. Leap confided that his passion is so great that he has a formal show room that has an 8x12-inch farming mural painted on it.
“It has 75 tractors in the scene,” he said, proudly. According to Leap, anyone who shows an interest may ask to tour. He has had hundreds through from many states. “Even a couple from Switzerland,” he added.
One of his favorite projects that he had worked on was the creation of a pink Cub International tractor, in honor of his mother and wife who had previously died from cancer. He said his tractor friends gave him a bit of a hard time about the tractor, declaring that International did not make pink paint.
“I’m here to tell you they they do,” he said, laughing. “You take one quart of International white and one quart of International red.”

• F.A.R.M. meetings are the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. usually at the Town Hall in Osgood, located 147 W. Ripley St. For more information, visit: www.farmclubonline.com.

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