The Land: Dick Alway and his Deere collection.

August 19, 2017

The Land: Dick Alway and his Deere collection.

#TheLand #MasonCountyAgriculture.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

The Land is a regular series that features profiles about local agriculture. 

AMBER TOWNSHIP — I think the sound of the John Deere 2-cylinder engine was probably one of the first sounds I ever heard. I have heard that “pop-pop” sound all of my life. In fact, green was probably also the first color I ever saw, followed by yellow. That’s what happens when you grow up in a John Deere dealership and your dad collects and restores antique tractors. The current count is at about 30 — give or take, my dad says.

Interviewing my 75-year-old dad, Dick Alway, about his collection has been on my list since I started The Land series. But, it’s a rare opportunity when all the tractors (or at least a majority of them) are displayed at one time. That rare opportunity, like the upcoming solar eclipse, occurred this week. The Mason County Farm Bureau was holding a tour of some farms in Amber Township and Scottville to show the diversity of Mason County agriculture. Our Johnson Road farm, which grows hops, was one of the farms.

Now, I have to confess, I am on the Farm Bureau board and helped organize the farm tour — and including the tractor collection on the tour was a little bit of a conspiracy on my part. It’s something we are pretty proud of in our family, but my dad keeps pretty humble about such things. So, getting him to talk on camera was not an easy task.

With all that said, I am going to defer you to click on the above video and watch the interview and enjoy the sounds of 30-plus John Deere tractors which range from a 1929 Model D (Deere & Company’s first manufactured tractor model) to a 1986 2950.

This story, photographs and video are copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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