Everybody ought to get a look at friendly John O’Connell, because
a couple of very interesting old photographs he sent us appear on
page 25. The 2520 Diesel Hi-Crop was acquired in March 2001,
when John wisely took his Minnesota family to rare tractor country
in Florida on vacation. They laid on the beach while he went
“Deere” hunting. He heard of some tractors for sale, so he drove to the
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation at the northern edge of the
Everglades. There he met Jake Osceola, Project Director at Seminole
Farms. There were 17 Hi-Crops, which were to be sold “all for one
money.” John went to see a man he knew who was County Commissioner
and knew the Chief of the tribe. When John went back to see
Chief David Cypress, they talked for awhile. Chief Cypress then
said, “Commissioner Floyd Crews said you are okay.” The Chief then
told Jake Osceola to sell John just the one tractor he wanted.
To the left is a splendid 2010 Hi-Crop (gas) belonging to Bill
Miller of Carlinville, Illinois.
Another of Bill Miller’s exhibits was this crowd-pleasing 1988
900HC, one of seven that were modified specifically for ginseng production
in Marathon County, Wisconsin. Bill has a complaint about
the hood, as the seam runs right through the “D” in Deere and does
not line up perfectly on the right-hand side. That’s the only flaw we
could find, and it’s a factory issue (kind of like the waves on twocylinder
“30” Series hoods), so he couldn’t talk us out of a Superior
Restoration Award. Note that this unit is an ‘88, which is only 25
years old. Sometimes we break our own rules.
Larry Hynek and his wife, Kerry, of Morse Bluff, Nebraska, displayed
their possibly one-of-a-kind 1971 industrial yellow Row-
Crop 2520 Diesel with Power Shift. It was originally ordered by the
Department of Corrections, State of Minnesota, and was placed in
service at the Stillwater Prison until being sold in July 2010.
From the floor up. Lee Sackett and his crew (Lee J. Sackett, Inc.)
have been entertaining and educating Expo attendees for several
years, each time assembling a pre-restored (at his shop in Minnesota)
vintage John Deere Tractor in about two days. This year it was a
1949 Model “B”. Assembly operations are digitally recorded in timelapse
mode, and continually projected on a screen in their work area,
so onlookers can arrive at any time and catch up on what has
already been accomplished. This was the first year that Sackett has
attempted a “styled” tractor.