MOUNT OLIVET — It’s more than a tractor — it’s a tribute.
A Robertson County student rebuilt a tractor in memory of his grandfather, Kenny Hughes.
Cody Hughes, 17, said he and his father, Jason Hughes, worked this past summer to restore a 1960 Farmall cultivation tractor that had been purchased by his grandfather in the 1970s.
“The engine is off to the side and it’s a little dangerous to drive, so it’s not easy to take on hills,” he said. “It’s been used to plow tobacco until it gets to a certain height and to put down fertilizer.”
According to Hughes, the tractor was purchased by his grandfather before the family owned any farmland.
“My grandparents married in 1968 and in 1970, my papaw decided he wanted to buy a tractor. Where they were living at the time, they had no land,” Hughes said. “People were confused about why he wanted to buy a tractor without a farm. He bought it so he could have it paid for so when they were ready to buy the farm, they wouldn’t have any debt.”
Hughes said his grandfather bought the farm where his family lives now.
“The tractor was used for tobacco production on our farm for about 45 years,” he said.
In 2010, Hughes’ grandfather fell ill and the family stopped producing tobacco, so the tractor no longer had a purpose.
“It just sat there,” he said. “Maybe once a year, we used it to plow a garden.”
In 2014, Hughes’ grandfather died and in 2015, Hughes decided to restore the tractor.
“On my grandfather’s birthday in 2015, I asked my dad if we could restore it,” he said. “It was a good tractor and I thought it would be a good way to honor his memory.”
Hughes and his father started restoring it in 2015 but took a break after a while. They did not start working on it again until this past summer.
“This year was the year that it had to be done in order to put it into the state fair and have it eligible to be judged,” he said. “We started working on it and Shugar Supply was great to help answer our questions and tell us what kind of paint we needed.”
The tractor was finished in July.
The tractor also has a brain cancer awareness sticker in honor of his grandfather.
According to Hughes, the tractor is currently at the Kentucky State Fair and he believes about 600,000 people will see it there.
“That’s 600,000 more people who have seen it there than would see it sitting here in Robertson County,” he said. “I doubt my grandfather ever believed it would be sitting at the state fair in Louisville.”
Hughes said the tractor, once returned home, will be used as a freight tractor to pull a wagon around the farm. He also plans to have it on display during the Robertson County School Fair.
According to Hughes, the hardest part about restoring the tractor was trying to find the time to work on it.
“Finding time to actually do it and putting it back together are the hardest parts,” he said. “It sat for four years, so there was a lot of work to do.”
He said he has enjoyed having the tractor at the state fair.
“I’ve been able to talk to a lot of people here and it’s been neat to see all of the people interested,” he said.