Carroll Area FFA member Tyler Soyer, a Kuemper Catholic High School senior and four-year member of the program, drives his John Deere 60 north on Grant Road in the FFA Week tractor-and-truck parade.
Carroll Area FFA member Tyler Soyer, a Kuemper Catholic High School senior and four-year member of the program, drives his John Deere 60 north on Grant Road in the FFA Week tractor-and-truck parade.
February 27, 2014



While Carroll Area FFA's annual tractor-and-truck parade on Friday afternoon celebrating National FFA Week featured some impressive behemoth vehicles, standing out in the crowd was Soyer, driving his recently acquired mid-1950s John Deere 60 tractor ... without a spacious, comfy, heated cab ... in mid-30s temperature ... with snow and ice from the previous day's storm lining the route.

"Actually it wasn't cold at all," Soyer said of the parade.

"The only thing I froze, in the morning, were my fingertips," driving the tractor from home between Willey and the Carroll airport to the agricultural-education building at Fifth and Clark streets, Soyer said, adding, "Other than that I kept warm. I was really surprised. I thought it would be a lot colder."

Soyer, a Kuemper Catholic High School senior, bulked up for the weather, wearing a heavy sweatshirt, coveralls, two pairs of gloves and stocking caps, one with face mask.

Donning that gear, Soyer said, he was ready for the challenge.

"A lot of my classmates were giving me a hard time," he related. "They said, 'You're never going to last.' I said, 'Oh, yeah? You wanna bet?' So, I showed them. I said I was going to do it, and I did it."

Saving money from his recent work at a feedlot northeast of Willey, Soyer, son of Mark and Lori Soyer, bought the restored John Deere in December from Keith Schreck. It replaces Soyer's 1960s Farmall 560.

"I've always liked how 2-cylinders looked and sounded," he said of his purchase. "I always wanted a John Deere 730 but could never find one. Then this 60 came up, and it looked real sharp."

Soyer said he will probably drive the Deere, which tops out at about 15 mph, in tractor rides and for raking hay. He plans to save money to put on fenders and a three-point hitch.

This was the third year that Soyer, who was one of FFA's three plot-demonstration managers last year and plans to study ag production at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg, has driven in the parade but the first time he's braved the weather like this. In previous years he drove John Deere 8530 and 4440 tractors.

The parade started at the ag-ed building, traveled east on Fifth Street to Grant Road, north past Carroll High School to 30th Street, west to West Street, south to Fifth Street, and then returned to the ag-ed site.

Other parade participants were: Tyler Hagan, John Deere 9430; Jason Berg, Freightliner FLD 120; Cory Venner, John Deere 8530; Garrett Nees, John Deere 6210A; Luke Schultes, John Deere 8430; Jared Rotert, Magnum Case IH 215; Malachi Mueggenberg, Magnum Case IH 215; Devin Bueltel, John Deere 4955; and Lance Mikkelsen, John Deere 8110.

The parade showcases the presence of FFA in the community. The Carroll Area program is shared by Carroll Community and Kuemper Catholic schools.