Porter County event salutes farming history
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent May 10, 2014 11:20PM
Justin Click of Lake Station plows land Saturday at Sunset Hill Farm County Park in Valparaiso on his 1929 Case tractor while Adam Floyd of Westville assists. | Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 12, 2014 6:33AM
VALPARAISO — Justin Click took his latest-model Case tractor out for some work at Sunset Hill Farm County Park on Saturday.
It wasn’t easy going at first, but with a little help, the tractor, pulling a three-bottom plow, began making headway in what will be a corn maze and a demonstration field for the Northern Indiana Historical Power Association.
Of course, it took a while for the tractor to warm up, but that’s to be expected in farm equipment built in 1929.
Click, of Lake Station, said he has several tractors, but the one he used Saturday is the smallest of the bunch.
“About the mid-1920s, tractors started getting smaller,” he said, adding the engines got smaller and more powerful, so the bodies didn’t have to be as large.
Click took part in NIHPA’s first demonstration day outside of its fall festival, which gave folks the chance to see old-time farm equipment in action.
“We wanted to inform the public of what farming history was 50 years ago, and we didn’t get everything plowed at the last festival, so we thought this would be an educational thing for everybody,” said Nick Misch, NIHPA’s president.
The task at hand included plowing about 3 or 4 acres, some for a small corn maze to make its debut this fall, and some for a field for future farm equipment demonstrations. The land for the corn maze was a community garden that has since been moved.
“We wanted to go small sake at first just to see how it works out,” Misch said of the corn maze.
He weighed the advantages of antique farm equipment with its newest incarnations as Click bumped and bounced along on the Case in sometimes muddy terrain.
“It’s much simpler and easier to use, there are less moving parts, and less stuff to break,” Misch said, adding modern equipment “is faster, more powerful, and you can do a lot more land at a time.”