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CARPENTER, IA — Farmers and those who simply love tractors made their way to north Iowa to get a little tour of the countryside.
They rode about 150 miles over an area that covers about a 40 mile radius, but they may have just enjoyed the ride the most.
Farmers have had a lot to deal with this wet spring.
“It’s kind of sad and depressing, it’s just too bad,” said Horace Hendrickson of Northwood.
Hendrickson has been farming since he graduated high school and for the seventh time he is taking a break.
“In a way it’s a change, but it’d be nice to see some bigger, better crops and less erosion and all of that,” Hendrickson said.
More than 120 farmers joined Hendrickson on the 12th annual KGLO Tractor Ride that wrapped up Wednesday after three days of rolling through the north Iowa country.
Organizers say it is a great way for farmers to get away.
“It’s like you’re on vacation but you’re not that far away. Unfortunately the weather has created a little bit of miserable things for the farmers, but I don’t hear the whining or complaining, they’re resilient,” said Dennis Van Gorkom, President of Corporate Farmer.
His favorite part is checking out what those farmers show up with.
“You look at the tractors and they’re gorgeous. I was looking at them this morning before they took off and everybody’s got them polished and perfect and they’re just having fun, they enjoy each other, it’s almost like a family reunion,” Von Gorkom said.
For some, family tradition may just be the best way to describe it.
“My grandpa’s been on it, my uncle Bill’s been on it, my uncle Ray’s been on it, he’s here with me, and my dad’s been on it,” said Angela Zook of Mason City.
Now the 19-year-old is carrying on the tradition for the first time.
“It’s been on my bucket list for a couple of years and here I am, it’s been a great experience,” Zook said.
Whether you are 19 or 59, they said it is all about making memories.
“Sometimes it’s not so much the memory in the head as it is in the heart. They remember some incident or something that happened or they met somebody they haven’t seen since last year’s tractor ride,” Van Gorkom said.
He said it did rain on their parade a bit on Monday, but he said he still saw smiles on their faces the whole time. He said it is just an example of how farmers take what is given to them and make the best of it.