Naig, Northey praise Tractorcade as memorable event

Hundreds of tractors lined the track at the Jones County Fairgrounds in Monticello Sunday afternoon, Aug. 2. Visitors arrived in Monticello for the start of The Big Show Tractorcade.

Bill Northey, U.S. Department of Ag, and Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Ag, take part in a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to see who will lead the Tractorcade on Monday, morning, Aug. 3. Both men addressed the crowd during the kick-off event Sunday evening. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

Mike Naig helps display a t-shirt quilt made out of 20 years of Tractorcade t-shirts. The quilt was presented to organizer Bill Poston for his years of hard work with the event. At far left is Andy Petersen with WMT Radio.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Big Show Tractorcade kicked off on Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Jones County Fairgrounds in Monticello with great weather and a great crowd of spectators and participants.

     Tractors of all sizes, makes, models, and colors were on display on the track for all to see and enjoy from a distance and up close.

     The evening dinner was open to the public, and featured special guests Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and former Secretary of Ag Bill Northey. Northey is the current Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

     “It’s great to be here and it’s great to be back in Jones County,” noted Naig, who praised Great Jones County Fair Manager John Harms and “his team” for their hard work.

     “I like to get around to as many of our county fairs every year as I can,” continued Harms. “But I keep coming back to the Jones County fair every year. I keep coming back to my favorite ones.”

     To the Tractorcade visitors and gusts, Naig offered, “You’ll certainly enjoy operating out of the Great Jones County Fairgrounds these next few days. These are great facilities.”

     Naig also joked that because the GJCF was modified this year, that’s likely the reason this portion of the State of Iowa is so dry.

     “They don’t measure precipitation during the fair in inches; they measure it in feet. We have to work on triggering a rainstorm in this part of the state.”

     Naig also made mention of the “unprecedented year” everyone has faced, and continues to face due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of so much doom and gloom, he said at least the Tractorcade is something memorable people had to look forward to.

     “You’re a part of something special,” he said. “I hope that next year we go back to what we consider to be ‘normal,’ and we’ll see the tractor ride and tractorcade just as we always have.

     “But this year is kind of special. Doing this together. That’s something you’ll be able to remember.”

     In terms of state recovery from the pandemic, Naig said he’s proud to be from Iowa where things are coming back to life.

     “There’s something special about Iowa. We have tremendous agriculture and we come at this from a position of strength. We will be better on the other side of this,” he said.

     Northey, who’s taken part in the Tractorcade in previous years, praised the organizers for continuing the tradition.

     “It certainly has been a challenging time,” said Northey. “We’re doing everything we can to help on the USDA side.”

     The Tractorcade team also acknowledged long-time leader Bill Poston, who’s been a part of the Tractorcade for 20 years since it started in 2000.

     Poston was presented with a t-shirt quilt made out of t-shirts from every year the Tractorcade was held.

     “He works tirelessly to make sure Tractorcade is safe, fun, and well organized,” praised Andy Petersen with Newsradio 600 WMT. “He pays attention to the details. He puts in long hours, including days and nights riding in the Tractorcade.”

     The riders took off early Monday morning, Aug. 3 for their first day of riding across Eastern Iowa. The Tractorcade will conclude on Wednesday, July 5.


Subscriber Login