"When I first remember it in the 60s that the county fairs generally sponsored a tractor pulling contest, all the county fairs around. And these were generally stock tractors that, you know, maybe they went to the dealership for a little – souped up a little bit. And they put some fluid in the tires and, of course, added weights. But for the most part, they were very similar to the tractors that were out in the field every day. And I remember that my Dad, as well as several neighbors, they had a little practice track out in the field that four or five would go out a few days before hand and they'd practice pulling it with different weights on there to see which tires would work the best, which weighting – whether to put more weights in the front or the back. You know, different settings to see which would be the best. And so try to get a little advantage that way before the tractor pulling contest was actually held. And so that was – I remember that and that was always kind of a fun gathering. You know, a couple weeks prior to the actual county fair.
     "The tractor pulls at those times started with the sled at one end and some weights. Maybe a tractor or two on the sled. And then people would jump on, would step onto this sled as it was moving. They had a row of maybe 50 people on each side of the sled that would step on. And then of course, you'd pull it until the tractor spun out. And then of course, mark the spot.
     "And you know, now it's all automated. And of course, that would be too hazardous to have people stand on a moving tractor and sled at that time. But it was – And now you basically you have a commercial tractor that's, you know, a hot rod or has a lot of modifications made to be able to compete. But in those days, there was a few modifications done, but not too many. They were basically out of the field."
     Question: "And who, in those days, won?"
     "John Deere was the runaway winner, absolutely!"
     Question: "Are you telling me, telling the truth there? [Laughing]"
     "Maybe, in some years that's true."
     Question: "That's funny. Did your Dad ever win?"
     "Yeah, he won some county fairs, and so on, and finished, I think, third or fourth at the state fair. And my uncle actually won the state fair with a 3010 John Deere in, I believe it was a 12,000 pound weight class."

Dan Stork – Tractor Pulling Contests


Other Excerpts from Dan Stork’s Interview:

Importance of Pesticides
Pulling Weeds by Hand
A World without Insecticides
First Time Driving a Tractor
A "John Deere Family"
Driving a Cultivator