- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

HAZLETON, Iowa (AP) - An Amish collector’s sale of antique farming equipment has drawn prospective bidders from as far away as Canada to northeast Iowa.

Bidders from several states, including Michigan, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania, traveled to Rudy and Sara Gingerich’s farm on Wednesday to view their collection of vintage threshers, which separate grain from plants by beating them.

“You don’t get a chance very often to buy a threshing machine in working condition,” Kenny Kass, of Dunkerton, told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1upnuOE ). “That’s the thing. You can buy it and take it home and start threshing.”

Rudy Gingerich developed a reputation for finding and fixing machines discarded by modern farmers 50, 60 and even 70 years ago. He said he is selling the machines because his family is moving.

Auctioneer John Marg said he has never sold 28 threshers in a single day.

“And I doubt if I’ll ever get the chance again,” Marg said.

Nels Wehner, 80, of Independence, said he did not intend to buy any of the threshers, but said he wanted to see the machines and to talk with others who appreciate vintage iron.

He said his father purchased a thresher after the Great Depression . The equipment has fallen out of favor with modern farmers, except among collectors and within the Amish community. The Amish tend to avoid the use of advanced technologies, such as modern combines.

Roger Dickerson, 75, traveled 575 miles from McCook, Nebraska to attend Gingerich’s auction and said he did not intend to buy either.

“Nostalgia,” he said. “I grew up in northwest Ohio, and it just brings up a lot of old memories.”

He said he purposefully left his trailer behind so he wouldn’t “be so inclined to buy something bigger.” He said he had never seen as many threshers for sale in one place as on Gingerich’s farm.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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