July 15, 2024

Farmer, mechanic to display J.I. Case tractors at show

J.I. Case is the featured tractor at Historic Farm Days. Dave Berbaum will bring a group of his tractor collection to join the hundreds of other tractors participating in the annual event.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Rows of J.I. Case tractors will be on display during Historic Farm Days, including several owned by Dave Berbaum.

J.I. Case tractors will be featured at the show this year that is organized by the I&I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club, scheduled July 11-14.

“My first Case was a 1936 CC Case that I acquired from my great uncle,” Berbaum said. “He had farmed with it into the ‘70s.”

Now, Berbaum owns 10 or 11 tractors.

“It snowballed after the first tractor,” he said. “Restoring the tractors is fun in the beginning and then it’s work before you get it done, but there is satisfaction when they are finished.”

Berbaum worked as a Case mechanic for 17 years and then he had an opportunity to farm.

“I retired from farming about three years ago, but I still help my brother and nephew,” he said. “So, it hasn’t changed much, I still enjoy driving tractors and they still let me do it.”

The farmer’s collection includes a Case SC and his wife has a Case 1570 Spirit of 76.

“My brother and nephew collect, as well, and they like the 70 Series — 870, 1370 and 1570,” he said. “They like the tractors they grew up with.”

Former Case mechanic Dave Berbaum plans to display several of his tractors, including this Case 1370, at Historic Farm Days.

The Berbaums plan to display at least 15 of their tractors during the four-day event.

“Since we’re close and members of the club, we’ll probably take most of our tractors,” the collector said. “My brother has a semi so that makes it a lot easier to move them around since he can haul three at a time.”

Berbaum joined the club in the late ‘80s.

“We went to one of their shows one summer and I knew some of the guys,” he recalled. “We thought it would be fun so we joined and have been in the club ever since.”

In addition to Case tractors, Berbaum also has a few plows in his collection.

“My brother has a Case chisel planter that came out in the mid-’60s, but it is not show-ready yet,” he said. “It’s a little different and way ahead of its time as far as no-till goes.”

Berbaum found a couple of the chisel planters in the area.

“We acquired a second chisel planter that is torn apart,” he said. “The guy took it apart and stored it in his shed.”

As a member of the club, Berbaum said, he has met a lot of good people.

“Some days it’s work, but it’s enjoyable to be around the guys,” he said about the annual show.

“I guess we put Penfield on the map,” he said. “When we first started the show, people asked where Penfield was located, but they don’t have to ask anymore.”

Martha Blum

Martha Blum

Field Editor