Farmers recently have had to dodge the rain and it was no different for the second Annual Heath Tractor Pull. While it rained in the morning, the 17 riders simply waited for the rain to stop before starting the ride.
Leaving from Heath, MA fairgrounds, their ride traversed almost 28 miles from Heath to Rowe, down to Colrain and back. Entry fees for the ride raised money for the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) based in Marlborough, MA, the Colrain Fire Department and for 4-H.
Organizer David Freeman chose to ride his 1958 Ford, out of 14 possible choices. “They are all older, real antiques. Most of them are working tractors, used to bale hay, rake hay, tow wagons,” he said. As a member of MFBF, he is on the board of directors for Western, MA Franklin County. “The farm bureau is the voice for all farmers in the state of Massachusetts. The farm bureau is the only voice for agriculture in the state government,” said Freeman.
Jim Martin is a Lieutenant/EMT for the Colrain Fire Department. He drove a 1948 Farmall, one of the seven tractors at his son Colby’s farm. Colby drove a 1975 Massey Ferguson, the most reliable of his tractors.
Tom Boutelle of Greenfield drove a John Deere, representing the company he works for, Padula Brother Inc., one of the tractor ride’s sponsors.
Kurt Benson of Foxbard Farm in Shelburne rode his John Deere the second year.
Dana Goodfield, owner of Stonegate Farm, owns half a dozen tractors but chose his Allis Chalmer tractor to ride.
Shelburne farmer Prudy Wholey communed with her fellow farmers and watched the tractors leave the fairgrounds in their parade. She raises beef, pigs and hay at Wholey Farm.
“We had an excellent ride, once we got to go. We were delayed about half an hour because of the rain,” said Freeman. “We tried to have the ride very rural.” In Colrain, they stopped and had a break at the Colrain Fire House which was opened for them to have a tour of the fire station and stretch their legs.
Back in Heath they bought their lunch from the 4-H County Fair’s food booth. Buying their lunch from the 4-H booth further supported the 4-H. Freeman checked in with all the riders at the end of the ride and everyone had had a great time.
For those who missed riding in this tractor ride and would like to a chance to participate in a tractor ride in the Tri-Country Fair’s 200th Anniversary Parade in Northampton, MA on Sept. 2, contact Richard Jaescke at 413-584-7898.