Demonstrations are a staple to the International Collectors Club Red Power Roundup every year. The machines change every year, but this year, spectators encircled two particular demonstrations, both of which involved corn: the husker-shredder and a couple of hammer mills.
Rob Goodding, a farmer from Cairo, Missouri, and International Harvester member, owns all four machines required to run the husker-shredder demonstration: the husker-shredder, which he estimated was manufactured in the early to mid-1940s, a sheller built in in 1921, and two tractors, a 1931 “Regular” McCormick Deering Farmall and a 1927 McCormick Deering Model 15-30.
“It’s basically just like a stationary corn picker, like a threshing machine,” Goodding said. “Most people are familiar with a threshing machine that threshes wheat.”
Goodding and Mark Manville, another farmer from Edgerton, Mo., hooked up the husker-shredder to the 1927 tractor and the sheller to the 1931 tractor in order to run the machines. Goodding said the husker-shredder takes the ear of corn off of the stalk, the shucks were ground up and stored in barn lofts to be used for feeding livestock, and then the corn was either ground or shelled for feed as well. But before all that could happen, the corn has to get picked first.
“You cut the corn with the binder and it binds it up in bundles, puts a string around it,” Goodding said. “And then you store shocks, usually in the field, and then in the fall they would come and take the shredder and take the ears off, and the ears come out one side.”
Goodding brought seven or eight machines to the Roundup, including a hay press, or stationary hay baler, and another baler with a pick-up attachment which picked hay up in the field but still required four men to operate it.
While most farmers have switched over to combines, Goodding said the Amish community still uses the same machines from the demonstrations. He said he’s given demonstrations for the past three Roundups.
“I like to show my machines running and how they work,” he said.
Manville said this is his first year helping out with the demonstration.
“(The corn) was shocked last fall by a corn binder,” he said. “It’s just a bundle of corn with twine on it. (Goodding) lays that up there with the ends facing and cuts the twine off it and and feeds it in. (The husker-shredder) takes the stock off, the debris and the ears. And everything else is run through here.”
Manville also pointed out the hammer mill demonstrations, which grind corn up into smaller pieces for other types of feed.
A Kansas couple and their granddaughter sat in the shade of their golf cart while observing the demonstrations. Charles and Tammy Smith, from Horton, brought 7-year-old Hailey Bunck to the Roundup for her first time. Tammy said she thinks the demonstrations are interesting.
“This is my fourth time, so I get educated all the time as well,” Tammy said. “(My husband) is a farm boy, so he kind of explains things to me. You learn a lot about how hard the farmers work. It probably makes me appreciate farmers more.”
Darrell Foster demonstrated a corn sheller for the audience at the fairgrounds. The ears of corn are dropped into the machine which was built in the 1940s, and it removed the kernels of corn from their cobs so they can be further milled into cornmeal using a hammer mill.
“These smaller machines were often used by smaller farms to mill their own corn meal. The larger processing companies have industrial machinery that mills the corn. These do the trick, though,” Foster said.
Foster’s son, Darrell demonstrated the hammer mill for the audience at the Red Power roundup. The event continues today.