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Club Cadet Plow Day all about having fun

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

simmet@agrinews.com

ROCKFORD, Iowa — The Cub Cadet Plow Day started with a couple of guys conversing back and forth on the International Cub Cadet Web site, but it is turning into a tradition.

Travis Schweizer hosted the Cub Cadet Plow Day for the fourth time April 14. Other plow days have been held at other locations. The event is held in spring and fall.

With wet snow and rain falling just a couple of days before the event, Schweizer wasn’t sure the garden tractors would plow this spring, but they did. The little machines worked up most of a 54-acre field for Schweizer’s neighbor Larry Rooney.

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"Even yesterday, we weren’t sure that the ground would be fit for plowing, but for the most part, it was," he said.

Plowing with Cab Cadets is a hobby for Schweizer, his wife, Dee, and their son, Taylor, 14. His father, Randy Schweizer, also likes plowing with Cub Cadets. Randy, who is public works director in Rockford, used to work for the International Harvester dealer in Rudd.

"Between my dad, Taylor and me, we had three generations plowing with Cub Cadets," Travis said.

"Plowing is a blast," Taylor said.

Schweizer estimates that he owns 100 Cub Cadets. He sells parts off them.

Plow Day is free. The Rockford Fire Department runs a foodstand as a fundraiser. It wants to build an addition to the fire station.

Schweizer is the assistant fire chief, and he’s a mechanic in Mason City.

"I grew up on Cub Cadets," he said. "My grandparents, Buck and Grace Reams, mowed the Marble Rock Cemetery with Cub Cadets, and so we were always on them when we were kids."

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Schweizer estimated that 350 to 400 came for the event. All makes and models of garden tractors were welcome. Ninety to 100 little tractors plowed. Many of the machines had been rebuilt and restored.

People came from Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Canada. One Cub Cadet enthusiast came from Alaska.

"We have a guy from Alaska who’s been here three years now," Schweizer said. "He keeps his tractor at his parents’ house in Wisconsin. He comes down just for this."

There was a swap meet for parts and machinery, and tractor pulling was available for the first time.

During the 1960s, International Harvester Company came out with a new line of lawn and garden equipment, according to International Cub Cadet Web site.

This was a big departure from the usual farm implements, but reflected the growing number of small acreages and the need for small power equipment. The first of these items was the Cub Cadet tractor, available in three basic engine sizes — 7, 10, and 12 horsepower. These small outfits had a wide variety of attachments , including lawn mowers, blades, snow blowers, rotary tillers, front-end loaders, dump carts, and more.

While Rooney ended up with a plowed bean field thanks to Plow Day, organizer Dee Schweizer said that it actually creates more work for him in the end.

"That’s why we’re so appreciative of him letting us use his field," she said.

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