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International Harvester collectors bring agriculture history and nostalgia to Laurel

Posted at 7:39 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 13:16:37-04

The Montana chapter of the International Harvester Collectors held its 6th Annual Red Power Rendezvous & Outdoor Market in Laurel on Saturday.

The collectors have special connections with the machinery.

"It stands out to be seen," said Jon Klasna, a member of International Harvester Collectors Chapter 40. "See that red a long ways away."

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The show is about anything manufactured by the company.

"You could buy a refrigerator," Klasna said. "You could buy a freezer. A creamery separator. You could buy trucks, tractors, field cultivators all in one store."

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Jon Klasna

Everyone in the club has a special story, a special reason and a passion for collecting International Harvester.

"That is a corn sheller," Klasna said. "Some left over corn on the cob from last year, we're going to shell it just to demonstrate how it's done. But that was my father's and my grandfather's. I'm very proud to have those two machines that they had."

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Jon Klasna operates antique corn sheller.

"I traded a 1972 Chevy for this new '73 three-quarter ton four wheel drive," Bob Adkins said about his purchase in 1973. "It's International Harvester red. It was their own, code 2150. I grew up with red tractors on the farm and ranch as a kid, so I tell everybody i was born with red blood."

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Bob Adkins and his 1973 International Harvester pick-up truck.

"This is the first step toward mechanical beet digging in the valley," said Brett Robertus, new club member and farmer in Laurel. "The heritage. I mean farming's in our blood."

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Brett Robertus and 1957 International Harvester beet digger.

They preserve the tractors and they preserve history.

"Just neat to be able to drive something like that at a young age like our grandpa did and learn all about them," Robertus said.

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"We can't forget our roots," Adkins said. "And this is our roots."

"We have all have the same mindset about keeping this old machinery alive," Klasna said.

The show had been held in Ryegate for five years and this was the first time in Laurel.

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