Keeping farm machine history alive

34th annual Steam Threshing and Plowing Show begins Friday

T-R FILE PHOTO The 34th annual Steam Threshing and Plowing Show will be held Aug. 3-5 on county farm grounds, located eight miles west of Marshalltown, 2373 Jessup Ave. The show will highlight farming techniques of the early 1900s. It is sponsored by the Mid-Iowa Antique Power Association (MIAPA). Food, live entertainment and demonstrations will be offered.

It’s a way to pay homage to the tractors and farming techniques of the early 1900s.

The 34th annual Steam Threshing and Plowing Show demonstrates the time and labor that went into harvesting crops over 100 years ago. This yearly event, sponsored by the Mid-Iowa Antique Power Association (MIAPA), gathers together old-time farming enthusiasts from all over the state, who come and exhibit their farming equipment and watch demonstrations.

“Our purpose is to demonstrate how farming was back in the early 1900s, and some of our displays will be threshing, a saw mill, a shingle mill and shelling corn,” MIAPA board member Paul Sams said. “We will have some people loading hay on a rack — what they call a hay loader — that was used many years ago. There will be a lot of gas engines on display and a flea market and swap area.”

Opening ceremonies kickoff at 9 a.m. on Friday. The day will be packed with activities, including harnessing horses at 10:30 a.m. and potato digging at 1:30 p.m. Music by Arland Lepper begins at 2 p.m.

Food will be available for purchase from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Breakfast will be served beginning at 7 a.m. daily.

Saturday will feature a kiddie tractor pull at 12:30 p.m., a horse vs. man tug of war at 2:30 p.m. and evening music, starting at 6 p.m., by Prairie Lightning.

Weather pending, each day folks can experience blacksmithing, baling of straw, horse plowing and more.

The MIAPA Parade of Power will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Folks will get a chance to see many of the tractors in action. Following the Sunday parade, the winner of the raffle will be announced.

“We have a raffle tractor. It’s a WC Allis-Chalmers. It’s what we call the feature tractor this year,” Sams said. “While we welcome all tractors, all makes and models, each year we have one that is highlighted and given more publicity. The Allis-Chalmers will be grouped together to give the collectors a nice place to exhibit and show their things, that aren’t intermingled with the other types of tractors.”

Raffle tickets are $2 each or six for $10.

A flea market and craft area will be set up, supervised by MIAPA board member Bill Roads.

“The flea market will have crafts and baked good and jams and other related items, and a portion of that will be outside, for the swap meet. There will be tractor parts and old tools for sale,” Roads said. “It will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all day.”

Sams said the show will spotlight engines made by the Waterloo Gas Engine Company.

“The company, 100 years ago this year, became John Deere. John Deere bought it out and started making their tractors there,” Sams said. “Those tractors will be featured in the southeast corner of the show grounds.”

Sunday will feature music by the Brothers & Sisters in Christ, at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., with a Sunday worship service slated for 9 a.m., led by Pastor Bud Kelley.

Admission is a one-time charge of $9 per person. Those 12 and under get in for free. Parking is free and handicap parking will be available, as well as rides from the parking area to the show grounds. Campers are welcome. Plaques will be given to all exhibitors.

To sign up to be a vendor, contact Roads at: 641-485-4557. For general inquires, Sams may be reached at: 641-751-7600.

To learn more visit: www.miapa.org and MIAPA’s Facebook page.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at

641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com


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