A group of students drove their tractors to school for Kutztown High School’s annual Tractor Day.
“My favorite part about Tractor Day is that we get to drive some of our tractors to school once a year. It’s a pretty big thing around here,” said senior Justin Fairchild, Kutztown. “It’s nice to see our community still has agriculture.”
Fairchild said agriculture is important to this area because the community started off as a large agricultural area. “It’s nice to see we can still go back to our roots.”
His brother Jacob, who drove a 1947 John Deere, said driving a tractor to school is fun.
Junior Wyeth Boyer, Maxatawny, agreed that the annual tradition is fun.
“It represents our (area) since we’re pretty much an agricultural school and pretty much the community,” said Boyer. “My family has a farm so I come from it.”
His family raises pigs and grain.
Tractor Day, held on May 22, is believed to have started in the mid 1990s and is held traditionally once a year before the end of the school year.
Assistant Principal Dr. Edward Myers stood in the parking lot at the end of the school day, watching two students drive away on their tractors amidst the cars and school buses.
“It represents who we are and the kids have fun with it,” said Myers.
Tractor Day allows students to show who they are and what they like to do, he said.
“It’s part of Kutztown heritage,” said Myers.
Senior David Reiss was going to drive the 1937 Ford 9N that he and several other students — Justin and Jacob Fairchild and Kyle Lubak with help from KHS alum Jeremiah Schwalm and Kenneth Flicker Repairs in Maxatawny — have been rebuilding for the past two years as an after school project. The tractor was donated by an unknown person. Unfortunately, the tractor would not start that morning so it remained in the ag room at the school.
“First, we took the engine apart. We rebuilt the whole engine... pistons, valves, rings, seals, all of the internals, machined the head down and then we painted it all up to make it look good,” said Reiss.
After graduation, Reiss would like to be a machinist but he also wants to learn how to live off the land, “I just like to hang out in the ag room more than anything.”
Junior Kyle Lubak said driving their tractors to school gives people something to talk about.
“Kids who don’t drive tractors like it because it’s different and everyone likes to see things different,” said Lubak. “I hope it keeps going. Next year a lot of the seniors that drove today are not going to be here so I hope the tradition keeps going.”