Back when Grandpa or Great-Grandpa were farming the fields of Trumbull County, they had to do their work the hard way. But it was the only way they knew because most of the modern, labor saving equipment used today had not yet been invented.
Since so much back-breaking labor was needed on farms of 75 or 100 years ago, their farms had to be small by today's standards. Horses were a main source of power, and much hand labor was needed to get crops planted and harvested.
Many folks who live in town grew up on a farm or have ancestors who were farmers. They have fond memories of what Grandpa's farm was like or what faint reminders tell them it was like. Sometimes they may wish they could go back to those days, but they forget the hard work on Grandpa's farm.
Now, you have a couple of good opportunities to see what it was like first hand when he was doing all that hard work. The first one is the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Show to be held July 5,6 and 7 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at their well-kept antique engine grounds up in Wayne, southern Ashtabula County.
Located on U.S. Route 322 a short distance east of Wayne Center, this show is just a pleasant drive away for Trumbull County folks. Even if you live in town, there is so much to learn at this show with all kinds of displays and events. One of the finest agricultural museums in the country is located here with displays that take you from the time Grandpa was hand planting and harvesting crops up to modern combines and other equipment.
Pre-Depression tractors and engines will be featured. Displays of antique household equipment can be seen in another building. There is an operating saw mill, a shingle mill, old train stations, a school house, tractor pulls, good food and much more along with a big flea market and more.
Afternoon old-time entertainment is scheduled. Plenty of food will be available with special dinners served every evening starting at 4 p.m.
Cost is minimal to attend this show, and it is an excellent educational event.
Then there is the Trumbull County Tractor Show and Flea Market to be held Aug. 16, 17 and 18 at their recently developed grounds at 1653 Ridge Road in Vienna. They will have a big display of antique tractors and equipment. There will be tractor pulls, games, children's events, a flea market and plenty of food.
The Trumbull County Antique Tractor club is a rapidly growing group working hard to develop their grounds in Vienna and expand their show.
Take time to go to one of these shows and study the old equipment on display. Think about the changes in tractors since the early ones were invented. Many historians give credit to the invention of the tractor and equipment like the grain binder and eventually mechanical planters and the combine to avoiding hunger in this country.
Without the development of modern agricultural technology, many of us would still be on the farm today. And they would be subsistence type farms that wouldn't provide a very good living for us. You don't need to have an antique tractor to display to enjoy these shows - just have an interest in how that food on your dinner table is efficiently produced today.
Volunteers give their time to plan and hold these events and should be given a lot of credit for the educational programs they conduct. Sure, they have antique tractors and equipment for hobbies but they do much more.
Parker is an independent writer for the Tribune.