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Celebrating our heritage

Lead Summary

Raymond Blong had the tough job Saturday afternoon when it came to baling hay at the 2016 Northeast Iowa Antique Engine and Power Show.He was the “wire guy.”“Thankfully, it’s today and not Thursday,” the Waucoma man said as he took part in a “bale press” demonstration at the annual show held near Fredericksburg. “But it’s still a hot, dirty job.”The funny thing is that way back when — say 1913, when this particular bale press came into being — it was dang near a luxury.“As hard of work as it is,” said Joe Schmitt, who helped restore the piece of machinery found in a grove, “this was a major, major step up for farmers.”So forget the fact that a good day back then would net a farmer 100 bales of hay; it beat what he had before.The fact that the power was being provided by a 1943 John Deere B tractor was an added bonus, for that tractor had its own story.Built during World War II, when raw materials went directly to the war effort, it was made of cast iron instead of steel.No wonder Matt Dumphrey was excited to show his girls what their grandpa and great-grandpa went through when they worked the land long before they were born.For the complete story see the 8/16/2016 New Hampton Tribune.

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