Grant came home from the IL Farm Show last month with a flyer about a new Red Tractor book that details all the red tractors (Case IH) from 1958-2013. He said it would be a great idea for his dad's birthday present in October, and I agreed.
Since I'm spending some time at home today due to a sick child, I started cleaning off my desk and came across the flyer that was buried under magazines that I have yet to read from this summer. Good thing I found it because October will be here before I know it and I'll need that birthday present!
I went online to the website advertised on the flyer, browsed through the different Red Tractor books available, and stumbled upon a video link that had "Burr Ridge" in the title. Why is this significant? Well, I spend most of my middle school, high school, and college days at home in the Burr Ridge/ Willowbrook/ Darien/ Hinsdale area. I drove past the CaseIH water tower almost everyday, I played softball and watched my brothers play baseball in Harvester Park next to the CaseIH headquarters, but yet I never knew what exactly went on in there. I remember when my mom got remarried that a family friend from Switzerland flew in for the wedding and her husband went to the CaseIH building during their time in town because he was in the "tractor business". Then, when I married Grant, I remember my parents mentioning to him that CaseIH had a plant near by--the same tractor company that he used on his farm.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I clicked on the video link that I found today and found footage of the Burr Ridge CaseIH site and what Burr Ridge used to look like long before the suburban sprawl. Growing up, I didn't realize the significance that location played for famers around the world that use CaseIH equipment or for other industries that use their technology.
Little did I know, while playing softball games as red tractors drove by in the distance in a plot of land outside of the CaseIH building, that I'd marry a farmer that drove those same red tractors. And, it just hit me today that duh, "Harvester" Park is named after the location of where they tested tractors for harvest time. Wow, am I a quick one, or what?!
After 6+ years of marriage to a farmer husband, I'm still amazed at the connections I find in my background to farming. However isolated I was from the importance of agriculture in my life, it was still all around me. It took me marrying a farmer to understand just HOW important agriculture is to all of us and how it is EVERYWHERE we may find ourselves, even if we are living in big cities or suburbs.
|June 2007: A CaseIH combine out for display during our Farm Wedding Reception|
|Harvest 2010: Dinner in the field when Gavin was a baby|
February 2011: Doug plows us out of our house during the Blizzard!
|Spring 2011: Gavin's 1st tractor ride of planting season|
|Harvest 2011: tractor and combine rides|
|Harvest 2011: Visitors love taking combine rides during harvest|
|Harvest 2012: Family picture after bringing pizza to the field|
|Harvest 2013: These days, there's a variety of colors in our fields|