Fuel stops are critical to any organized tractor ride. At the end of the day, and along the route, tractors are seen stopping at gas stations and convenience stores. One laughable moment involved John Van Ryswyk (the “trail boss”) pulling into a Casey’s store for gas. The whole string of tractors followed right in behind him as if it were the route. And, at the end of the day, returning to Sioux City, it’s quite a sight to see a gob of tractors lined up for gas at the Wal Mart gas station.
I was privileged to meet one of the founders of the WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride. Craig Johnstone, of Grinnell, also known as “The Godfather of the Tractor Ride,” along with the late Mark Pearson and late Gary Wergon, were instrumental in getting the now famous (infamous) tractor ride organized. The first ever tractor ride in 1997 had 119 tractors, and traveled from Grinnell to Ankeny. In the words of Craig Johnstone, “I take three days off from work, and vacation with 549 of my closest friends!”
At the end of the ride, the ladies herd their men back home for work and domestic duties. There are now a number of tractor rides in Iowa and the nation, and there was talk of which ride was next. For every tractor you see out there, whether it’s in the field, or on the road, remember, American agriculture wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for women.
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at (319) 217-0526, email him at email@example.com.