In Focus: Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers Host 43rd Annual Show
Every year during the third weekend in August, the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers will pull out all their vintage tractors and old-time machinery for a one-of-a-kind show.
“What we do here at the Pioneer Farmers is try to preserve the heritage of the logging and farming days of the early days. And lots of old tractors, lots of old saw mills and we have a lot of different demonstrations,” says Ken Brein, the president of the Lake Itasca Pioneer Farmers.
“We are very lucky at the Pioneer Farmers to have lots of volunteers. It takes many people to keep the grounds updated, to keep the lawns mowed,” adds Charlene Olson, the treasurer.
The tools used at the show aren’t just for gazing. Attendees have a chance to get up close and personal with the equipment thanks to the many demonstrations that happen throughout the weekend.
Olson says, “It’s just amazing how many people are willing to take the time to bring their equipment! I mean, it takes a lot to haul this equipment in and then to be here to ride through in the parades, but you know they do like to show them off!”
The machines that can be found on the show grounds display the farming history of Minnesota. Some of the equipment dates back well over 100 years. For example, the Murray Corliss is on display at the show. It was constructed in 1900 and was originally used in Cass Lake before it was moved to Redby. Another big part of the show is education and introducing the old ways to the next generation.
“Teaching the younger people how things were done in the early days when people first came here and started breaking the land and sawing the timber,” says Brein.
The show last through Sunday on the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers ground near Itasca State Park. One thing about the show is each year, there’s something new because organizers are constantly building on it.
“Since I’ve been president, I keep saying we need to maintain our show grounds that we have and every year somebody volunteers to help us build another building,” says Brein.
Olson adds, “We’re in the process now of building the barn so that next year, hopefully, we’ll be able to have animals!”
You can find out more about the event here.