In the midst of the farm animals, fried food, and the butter cow of Iowa State Fair, there is a girl and her antique tractor. Her name is Maisie Knapp. Maisie was at the Iowa State Fair to compete in the Iowa FFA Ag Mechanics and Technology Show. Maisie is a Panora, Iowa resident and a member of the Panorama FFA.
Maisie took on the job of restoring her family’s Farmall. “It’s a model H Farmall, and it’s been in our family since my grandpa bought it in 1947,” said Maisie. Since 1947, the Farmall has been passed down in the family.
When we talked to Maisie, she was in the middle of the judging day for the Iowa FFA Ag Mechanics and Technology Show. “It’s a long day. I haven’t had anything in the fair before, so it’s new,” said Maisie, reflecting on her day. She would go on to be awarded a blue ribbon for her work on the Farmall H before driving her tractor in the Ag Mechanics Parade.
This was the first time Maisie took on a project of this caliber. Her father is a mechanic by profession, so he was able to help Maisie with some of the problems that naturally come up when restoring a piece of vintage farm equipment.
“We had to split the tractor to replace the pressure plate, the clutch, and the rear gear,” said Maisie. Restoring a tractor usually comes with a few bumps in the road. “Also, we broke the axle housing,” Maisie added, “so we had to get that welded back together.”
Maisie received a Hy-Capacity seat to make her restoration complete. Hy-Capacity has been a proud sponsor of the Iowa FFA Association since 2013. As a contribution to the hard-working FFA members of Iowa, Hy-Capacity has donated restoration grade seats to FFA members working on antique tractor restorations.
Maisie felt that the most rewarding part of the whole process was her dad’s reaction. “He kind of doubted me on it,” Maisie said with a smile on her face, “but he’s pretty proud of me now.”
Maisie’s family has been involved in agriculture for a long time. “My dad grew up on a pig farm, just thousands of pigs. That slowly went away, but now we just have cattle that we use for butchering. Just what we need,” said Maisie.
Now that the tractor is completely restored to its original condition, Maisie plans on using the tractor around the farm, for parades, and especially for the fall party that her family puts on. “We’ll probably use it for the hay rack ride mostly,” said Maisie. Maisie will soon be able to show off her tractor soon to fall party guests.
After high school, Maisie plans on studying elementary education at a school in Iowa. One day, when Maisie is a teacher, she will be able to look back at this FFA project and know that anyone can accomplish greatness when they set their mind to it.