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Published February 29, 2008, 12:00 AM

Farm history gets preserved

Club members bond over old tractors
Jerry Skalicky favored the two-cylinder John Deere tractors and the “putt putt putt putt” sound they make. But his dad was an International man. When Skalicky moved to Moorhead in the 1960s, he had enough land to plow up a garden. So he bought a 1944 John Deere.

By: Doug Leier, The Forum

Jerry Skalicky favored the two-cylinder John Deere tractors and the “putt putt putt putt” sound they make. But his dad was an International man.

When Skalicky moved to Moorhead in the 1960s, he had enough land to plow up a garden. So he bought a 1944 John Deere.

Skalicky now belongs to the Lake Agassiz Two Cylinder Club, a group of antique tractor enthusiasts, most of whom own John Deere tractors.

Not all of the 70-plus members of the club have green equipment, though. There’s gold and red and blue, too. Not all own two-cylinder equipment. And some members don’t even have an antique tractor – just a knowledge and interest in them.

The club, founded in 1992, is geared toward anyone with an interest in preserving or restoring old tractors.

“The reason, I guess, that I have found that people like to belong to stuff like that is because of the relationships that you get with those kinds of people,” Skalicky said.

The group has grown through the years, in members and involvement. They’ve displayed tractors at Big Iron and Bonanzaville in West Fargo, and even at Fargo’s West Acres mall before the shopping center added on its food court.

The club will be actively involved with the John Deere Expo at this year’s Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag.

“I think there’s a lot of interest in old tractors, especially two cylinders,” said member Don Schmaltz. “They’re really disappearing from the farm fronts.”

Members have started to donate machinery and tractors to the club, including a rear-mounted manure loader. Some members mounted it onto a 1936 Model A John Deere owned by Cliff Storsved of Fargo. It used to belong to his uncle.

“He used to brag about what a wonderful tractor it was,” Storsved said. “That’s what we heard when we were kids.”

Storsved is donating the tractor to the Two Cylinder Club. He’s been a member for about 15 years.

“You can get advice from others on problems you might have, the whereabouts of parts if you might need them,” Storsved said.

The club would eventually like to have its own building to store the equipment and have a place to tinker.

In 2009, the group is hoping to plow and plant crops on some land at Probstfield Farm in north Moorhead using the antique tractors.

“What could normally be done in 15 minutes, it will take us a couple days,” Schmaltz said.

But it’s a way for members, many of whom grew up with these tractors, to relive the past and form new friendships.

“As the guys work on these old tractors, it’s kind of a fellowship,” Storsved said. “They enjoy working on it together.”

For more information

- The Lake Agassiz Two Cylinder Club meets every other month.

For more information about the group, call Jerry Skalicky at (701) 238-0599.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5525

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