500 Tractors Roll Into Le Mars

(Le Mars) — More than 500 tractors of all sizes, makes, models, and colors  rolled into Le Mars at about noon today.  It’s all part of the 17th annual WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride. The tractors started from Sioux City at about 7:30 this morning and will make their trek north and have lunch at the Le Mars Convention Center.  Marc Dorenkamp of the sponsoring radio station says the ride started as a result of the late farm broadcaster, Mark Pearson having a speaking engagement at Grinnell.

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Many on today’s tractor ride are either past or present farmers, or perhaps they were raised on a farm, and Dorenkamp says the appeal of the tractor ride is because they are reliving their history.

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The tractor ride crosses over many ages and generations.  Dorenkamp says this year’s ride has drivers from the pre-teens all the way to some in their 80’s. The farm broadcaster encourages public officials and residents of Le Mars to visit with the tractor drivers and tell them about Le Mars and about Plymouth County.

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Iowa’s top farmer, Bill Northey, the secretary of Agriculture, is participating on the tractor ride.  He will be visiting Plymouth County as part of his 99 county tour.  Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture.

(Le Mars mayor Dick Kirchoff welcomes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey to Le Mars)

Another driver is Don Schultz of Battle Creek, Iowa.  Schultz is on his second year of the tractor ride.  He was driving his John Deere 3020 which was purchased by his father and himself.  Schultz explains why he participates on the annual tractor ride.

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(Don Schultz of Battle Creek, Iowa drives his John Deere 3020 on the ride)