NWREC gifted two vintage tractors
The North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora will be the new home for two vintage Allis Chalmers tractors — a recent gift from Casale AG. The Casale family has been involved in farming and agribusiness in the region for four generations and with NWREC for almost as long.
The tractors, both fully restored to new condition, date back to the early 1950s and represent the first new tractors purchased by Joe Casale Jr. and his father, Joe Casale Sr., for their vegetable farming operation. Joe Jr. and his oldest son Joe III farmed with the tractors until retiring five years ago. The Casale AG home place is located just two miles west of NWREC and is now a commercial blueberry farming operation owned by another of Joe Jr.'s sons, Carl, and his wife, Kim.
Carl and Kim purchased the tractors and had them professionally restored before returning them to the farm. "Both tractors run like new," said Carl. "They were workhorses for my family's vegetable farm. I grew up with these tractors."
One tractor is a Model G and the other a WD45, and both are now ready to continue working for NWREC. Joseph Casale Sr., who lives in Canby since his retirement, was one of the farmers who helped form the North Willamette Horticultural Society in the mid-1950s.
That organization has been one of the primary farmer groups that support local growers and provide for their educational needs and ongoing learning. Every year, and since the inception of this grower organization, the Extension Service has worked with the Horticulture Society to teach classes that provide farmers with the latest information they need in their operations.
The Casale family has always worked closely with Extension Service faculty and the research being done at NWREC.
"We currently have three other Gs on the farm and use these tractors for cultivating row crops where we need to have the best sight on the rows below," said Marc Anderson, NWREC's farm manager. "That's why this unique tractor design was originally developed and is still used today."
"The WD45 is really going to be a showpiece for the facility. It will be a great conversation piece for farmers and the public coming out to the farm for its open house or grower field days. The Casale family tractors will have a good home at NWREC and be a great connection to the family and their legacy in the French Prairie area," said Mike Bondi, NWREC director.
"We think this is a great fit for these tractors, the family gift and our connection to OSU and the Research Center," said Carl Casale. "Knowing that the tractors will continue being used at the farm is special, too."
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