April 20, 2024

Beck’s shares piece of farm history: Family tractor featured at Half Century of Progress Show

RANTOUL, Ill. — Beck’s is taking an International Farmall 560 to the Half Century of Progress Show.

“Purchased March 1, 1984, in northern Indiana, it has been in the Beck family for nearly 40 years,” said Blair Dunn, Beck’s shop foreman.

“A former Beck’s employee spotted the tractor in an old farm paper. It was an original tractor and even came with the dealer sticker on it.

“Its main purpose was to cultivate and be an asset to Beck’s seed corn production. In the most recent years, it’s been used for husk and sort during harvest to pull wagons.”

The 560 isn’t the first Beck’s tractor to make it to the Half Century of Progress Show.

Previously, the John Deere 4430 was on display. It was the first John Deere tractor for Beck’s — purchased by Sonny Beck and his father in 1974.

“It was a brand new 1974 John Deere 4430 with a cab, 125 horsepower and a 6.6-liter 6-cylinder engine,” Dunn said.

“The plan was to use it to work the ground down with their 33-feet S-Tine field cultivator ahead of the planter.”

The first tractor Sonny Beck learned to drive was a 1938 International Harvester Farmall F-20.

“His dad, Francis, always had International tractors on the farm,” Dunn said. “Over the course of 30 years, Sonny became very familiar with the F-20, H, M, 560, 706 and other various IH tractors.”

A team of Beck’s employees demonstrate a passion for caring for historic equipment, including Dunn, Toby Ripberger, Rob Kincaid, Clayton Stufflebeam and Curt Money.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor