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A return to the good old days

One of the many historical ag displays is shown at Historic Farm Days near Penfield on Friday / CIFN photo.

PENFIELD – The farming practices of yesterday are on display this weekend at Historic Farm Days in Penfield.

Bernie Hammel of Champaign enjoyed Friday morning’s nice weather to watch a corn shelling demonstration. Hammel used to shell quite a bit of corn with a Minneapolis sheller.

“Gosh, we worked so hard getting the corn out of the crib,” Hammel recalled. “I’m glad those days are behind us. It’s much easier now.”

Hammel says he learned a lot in the old days and always took time to visit with his neighbors, unlike today’s fast pace farming environment. Hammel sold his cattle, pulled out the fence and transitioned into strictly a grain operation in the later years.

Herb Luttrell traveled all the way from Ohio to attend the four-day event in East Central Illinois. Luttrell relived some old memories while watching the old demonstrations.

“All we ever got to do was drag wet corn out of the back of the wagon into the elevator. We just put it in the crib in the fall and let it dry,” Luttrell said.

Event spokesperson Chris Karr says Historic Farm Days has been blessed with some nice weather so far this weekend. The show continues to draw in people from around the United States and the world.

“It’s going back in history and it’s showing the younger people heritage,” explained Karr.

In addition to the Allis-Chalmers tractor, this year’s show is featuring the Cast Iron Seat Association. More than 100 cast iron seats were made in Illinois and used on horse-drawn equipment in years past.

Karr encourages anyone interested in the history of agriculture to become involved with the I&I Antique Tractor and Car Club.

“It is really a lot of fun,” he said.

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