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Historic equipment draws big crowds to ‘The Big Dig’
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Historic equipment draws big crowds to ‘The Big Dig’

It was literally “full steam ahead” when massive steam engines and crawlers plowed with an antique plow, historic construction equipment moved dirt, wand antique tractors paraded at “The Big Dig” south of Concordia, Kansas Aug. 27-29.

Crowds from across the U.S. gathered at the event hosted by Prairie Plowing Days, which was held in conjunction this year with the 35th annual international convention of the Historic Construction and Equipment Association.

“Steam engines, the camaraderie, the collectors and the public – we all have an interest in this sort of thing,” said Kurt Kocher, who organized the event on his farm, along with Cloud County Tourism, Brad Smith and Dane Barclay.

Steam engines were used over 100 years ago for threshing and also for baling and running a sawmill, Kocher explained, but they were phased out in the late 1930s.

Previously, the running of nine steam engines beat a world record, but this year Kocher said they weren’t going for a record, just a good time.

In addition to massive displays of polished and rugged antique tractors and construction equipment, visitors enjoyed barbecue, snow cones and lemonade. Visitors climbed aboard “people-movers” for a panoramic tour of the farm and the machinery. It was a day that brought many people together.

Reporter Amy Hadachek is a two-time Emmy Award winning meteorologist and a storm chaser who earned her NWA and AMS Broadcast Meteorology Seals of Approval. She and her husband live on a diversified farm in Kansas. Reach her at amy.hadachek@midwestmessenger.com.

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Reporter Amy Hadachek is a two-time Emmy Award winning meteorologist and a storm chaser. She and her husband live on a diversified farm in Kansas. Reach her at amy.hadachek@midwestmessenger.com.

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