It wasn’t the fieldwork happening along Highway 95 in early October that was unexpected, it was the equipment doing the work — no towering, high-tech machines in sight, only old tractors, most pulling small moldboard plows.
In all, about 30 tractors took part in a plowing bee organized by Palouse High School student, Colby Dugger, in one of the Dugger family’s fields just outside Moscow, Idaho. Dugger said he’s been going to plowing bees since he was a child. He started this one, with the help of family and friends, because he felt there weren’t enough of them on the Palouse.
“It’s not just the plowing and tractors, it’s the people. That’s why I did it,” he explained. “I didn’t realize what went into them (plowing bees) before I did it myself. There’s a lot more planning, coordination and advertising than I realized. I put in ads (in local publications), posted flyers, posted on social media and purchased some banners for the road.”
Spectators could ride a trailer around the field to see the action close up or enjoy food and drink from the Palouse Lions Club’s concession stand at the field’s edge.
Dugger said his interest in older tractors began with his great-grandfather’s 1948 Model A. A family friend got it running as a surprise for Dugger’s father.
“That was really the first time I’d been to a plowing bee. It instantly got me hooked,” he said. Dugger recently inherited a tractor from one of the family’s landlords that he is fixing up.
This is the second year in a row that Dugger has organized a plowing bee. The high school senior hopes to host a third plowing bee next fall despite heading off to Iowa State University. He said he was happy with how this year’s event turned out, and he heard good feedback.
“It was really a good field, a good location, perfect weather. It couldn’t have been any better,” he said.