MIAMI COUNTY — He took his first ride on a tractor at the age of 2 and has had classic tractor fever ever since.
Brady Anderson, 18, of Troy, shared his love of restoring classic tractors, including this year’s project of restoring a 1951 John Deere A.
“What got me into it was my grandpa, Ernie Schaefer,” Anderson said. “I guess you can say I’ve been doing it since I was a baby. I took my first ride at 2 on a tractor that shook like an earthquake. They say I fell asleep within the first 10 feet so I guess it was meant to be then. “
Anderson said the restoration projects took off when he joined the Miami East FFA program and was looking for a project to complete. Anderson graduated from Miami East and the Miami Valley CTC program this spring.
The first tractor he restored was a 1941 John Deere B., a tractor he said his grandpa bought for $800 when he was only 2 years old.
Restoring tractors is a family project that takes a lot of Anderson’s time, money, and sometimes patience.
“I learned that it’s stressful, hard work. It’s never easy. A lot of money and a lot of time,” he shared. “You got to know what you’re doing and have good people behind you that know what they are doing.”
Anderson said the process of restoring old tractors turned into a family project alongside his grandfather.
“We’ve done this through sick, healthy, poor and almost wealthy,” he said with a laugh.
Anderson shared how the hobby helped him and his grandfather push through some major health conditions.
“We had to sell a few, which was hard, but somehow we always got it done,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he enjoys the art of restoring the classic tractors during a time in agriculture where equipment is bigger, faster, and more advanced.
“It’s fun because it’s kind of a dying thing,” he said.
Anderson said he plans on continuing restoring tractors, and maybe take up tractor pulling competitions in the future, but he’ll always have that next restoration project lined up in the barn.
“My dream tractor would have to be a John Deere 4020,” he said. “Getting one of those would be neat.”
Anderson is the son of Brian and Jennifer Anderson. Anderson’s bright green John Deere is displayed along side a few dozen antique tractors and equipment at the Miami County Antique Power Association area at the north end of the fairgrounds.