Farmall, Ford and John Deere machines are rumbling across the state this week as part of the Tractor Relay Across Nebraska.
TRAN coordinator Donelle Moormeier says the procession left the Homestead National Monument of America Heritage Center over the weekend and is headed west. Moormeier says the tractor drivers can choose to do all or part of the 450-mile cross-state journey.
“We have 110 registered throughout the whole trip,” Moormeier says. “The lowest day we have is 43 and the highest day is 70 and we’ve got 25 going the whole way.”
Saturday’s first leg traveled from the Homestead west of Beatrice to Geneva. Moormeier says most daily trips are 40-to-50 miles, though one day will be an 88-mile trek.
“We all have tools and tow ropes and yes, we have breakdowns but everybody works together and we get through it,” Moormeier says. “There’s always something that goes wrong with these old tractors.”
Tractor drivers that do the entire journey will see three national monuments. Homestead superintendent Mark Engler says this year marks the National Park Service’s centennial and the 80th anniversary of the Homestead.
“That’s why they’re calling it the Monument to Monument Run this year because they’re starting at the Homestead National Monument and passing through Scottsbluff National Monument on their way to their final destination, the Agate Fossil Beds Monument. It’s a fun way to celebrate this centennial.”
Stops this year include: Geneva, Hastings, St. Paul, Broken Bow, Thedford, Hyannis, Alliance and Scottsbluff before reaching the Agate Fossil Beds next Sunday. Funds were raised for the American Legion Operation Comfort Warriors Program.
by Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice