Published on Friday, June 17, 2016
Family is a huge part of the company culture here at Beck’s. We pride ourselves on being family owned, faith based, and farmer focused. I have been fortunate to be part of the Beck’s family this summer, but after over a month here, I was happy to go home and see my own family this weekend. As I traversed through Iowa, visiting cousins and grandparents, I began to notice something. From seeing the family farm, to tractor rides across the state, I realized how much my family’s agricultural background is a part of who we are.
My grandpa Young is one of five children, so you can imagine that their family reunion drew quite a crowd. It seemed fitting that such a gathering would take place at the family farm. Our family has lived on the homestead since 1917, my great aunt and uncle having been there for almost 60 years themselves. When I arrived, the maintenance shop was full of pictures, food, and the classic tractors my great uncle has restored.
A classic picture of the family farm, located outside of Beresford, South Dakota.
I truly believe that something special happens when a family is raised in agriculture. Although I may not live on a farm, I was brought up learning values like hard work, ethics, responsibility, and kindness. My grandparents expected a lot from their children growing up, but that is only because they knew they were capable of great accomplishments. My parents, in turn, pushed me to challenge myself and try new things. I learned lessons that I don’t think would have hit home in any other environment.
Our family is scattered across the country, from Iowa to California. So, it is a rare and special occasion that we are all in one place. This weekend, we collected to celebrate anniversaries and welcome the family’s newest members. People of all generations came together to honor our history and look forward into the future.
My grandmother and her new great grandchild, only a few months old.
The Great Eastern Iowa Tractorcade
Normally, I don’t care for the smell of exhaust fumes. It usually accompanies the noise and traffic of packed city streets. However, there is something about an old six-cylinder engine that makes exhaust smell pretty good. That is exactly the feeling that I got driving my grandfather’s 1936 Oliver Hart-Parr in the 2016 Eastern Iowa Tractorcade. This antique tractor ride takes place each year in a traveling location across scenic eastern Iowa.
This year’s WMT Eastern Iowa Tractorcade brought over 500 tractors and thousands of people to the small town of Waukon, Iowa in the northeast part of the state.
This spectacle is about more than old tractors. We have created a community of people who are passionate about the history of agriculture and want to share it with others. More importantly, I feel that many of these individuals have become an extension of my own family. Over the years, my cousin Morgan and I have become known to the ride’s regulars as “those two girls” who chauffeur our grandfather around. They recognize us and want to know how we are doing.
As soon as we pulled into Waukon, Iowa to unload our tractor this year, a man immediately came up to ask, “Are you those two girls going to Iowa State? How were your classes?” Even though we only see each other once a year, people know exactly who we are and genuinely care about our lives. Although he may get grief from the other old men about not driving his own tractor, I know that my grandfather could not be prouder that my cousin and I enjoy this family tradition.
My cousin Morgan, grandfather Morris, and myself with his 1936 Oliver Hart-Parr Row Crop 70, fully restored with two extra road gears and a wide front-end.
What I really love about this event is that we can share our agricultural heritage with others. Onlookers line the streets as we roll through town. People stop their cars to take pictures as the parade passes by. Little children stare in wonder to see the noisy machines in person. Other farmers, still hard at work in the fields, park tractors in their front lawns for us to view as we drive. I will never grow tired of the smiles left on the faces of the people we meet on each day of the ride.
I am proud of everyone in my family, whether or not they are related by blood. We all play our own roles in continuing to share the values we have learned, and this industry has laid the foundation. It is the history of my family and the heritage we celebrate. It is what brings us together on these special occasions. It shows that agriculture really is a family affair.
Author: Celina Young
Categories: Intern Avenue
Tags: agriculture, beck’s hybrids, family farm, intern avenue, Family, Iowa, Celina Young, Beck’s Blog, Beck’s Internships, Beck’s Intern, Eastern Iowa Tractorcade, AM 600 WMT News Radio, South Dakota, tractor ride, 1936 Oliver Hart Parr Row Crop 70
As an enthusiastic young professional in agriculture, Celina Young has found a place at Beck's Superior Hybrids as a marketing intern.
As an enthusiastic young professional in agriculture, Celina Young has found a place at Beck's Superior Hybrids as a marketing intern. Entering her senior year at Iowa State University, she prides herself on being a world traveler, dairy lover, movie fanatic, and atypical agriculturalist. Follow her on Twitter @Celina_E_Young or join her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/celinayoung