Fair Hounds: Old Iron Show is a glimpse into farming historyby Molly Bloom, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — When Moorhead resident John Beecher goes to the Minnesota State Fair, he makes sure to pay a visit to Machinery Hill to see the row of antique farm machines called the Old Iron Show. The show features tractors and machines from the mid-1800s through the 1970s.
Beecher grew up on a farm in central Illinois and he loves seeing the machines that he remembers from his youth. "That's how I learned to drive, was on the farm. With a hand clutch on an old John Deere A."
He is now retired after being the director of the North Dakota State University's libraries, but he got his start as an agriculture librarian. Beecher appreciates how seeing the older machines gives the viewer a brief tour through the history of farming in the United States.
"If you watch them develop, there's an evolution there. And it goes along with the economy of farming," Beecher said. "Everything just kept getting bigger and more powerful. Farming had to become more of a business rather than just a family project."