By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN - Cokato resident Wes Robertson will be one of the featured speakers Tuesday, March 24 at the History of Tractors program in Buffalo.
The program, which is in its 11th year, is hosted by the Wright County Historical Society.
Last year, more than 100 tractor enthusiasts attended the program, which focused on Cockshott tractors.
Having gone full circle (each year highlighting a different brand of tractor), this year’s program will again focus on Minneapolis-Moline tractors.
Robertson has been collecting Minneapolis-Moline tractors since the early 1990s.
When he retired from his job at the nuclear plant in Monticello, Robertson thought about what he would do with his time.
Having been an Air Force mechanic on B29 bombers during the Korean War, Robertson wanted something to “tinker” with.
Driving through Buffalo, Robertson saw a Minneapolis-Moline tractor for sale on the side of the road.
“It was cute, so I got it,” Robertson said.
Since then, he’s been buying and selling tractors from the Minnesota-based company.
In 1929, Minneapolis Moline Power Implement Company was formed by the merger of Moline Implement Company, Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company, and Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company.
In 1963, the company was purchased by White Motor Company.
Since Robertson purchased his first Minneapolis-Moline in the early ‘90s and gave it an overhaul complete with new paint and tires, he has owned up to 30 tractors at one time. Now he is down to 15, after selling to other tractor collectors like himself.
Though he won’t say one tractor is better than the other since as a former farmer, he says, “they all got the job done,” he will say the company is local and has a good reputation.
For 35 years, Robertson had a farm in Rockford, which he sold for development, and moved to Cokato in 1996.
“And I’m glad to be here,” he said.
Each year, Robertson goes back to Rockford for the annual Minneapolis-Moline reunion at the Rockford Township Hall the second weekend in July.
Aside from Robertson, who will talk about his late ‘30s and ‘40s models, other speakers will include Ron Becker of Hamel, who collects smaller lawn and garden tractors; Richard Otto of Buffalo, who collects larger four-wheel drive diesels; and Paul Mutterer of Rockford, who collects A4T articulated tractors.
For more information about the event, contact Sally Stevens at the Wright County Historical Society, (763) 682-7323 or (800) 362-3667, ext. 7323.
History of Tractors
This year, the Wright County Historical Society will again present the History of Tractors Tuesday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m. in the Wright County Heritage Center activity room, located at 2001 Highway 25 North, Buffalo.
The presentation is free and includes a light lunch. Attendees may also wish to bring bars or cookies for dessert.