By Molly Moser
The Northeast Iowa Farm Antique Association is calling for volunteers for the 2014 season. President Larry Moser hopes to increase interest in membership this year, thereby increasing the volunteer base to make activities at Plagman Barn sustainable. With roughly 50 current members, organizers worry they’ll have to eliminate some of the activities from September’s Show Days.
The Association is dedicated to the historical preservation and the education of area youth by demonstrating the area's early farm and home practices and techniques. Volunteers are needed to help with general upkeep and events all season long, and there’s a need for a variety of skill sets. “I think a lot of people don’t volunteer out there because they think it’s driving tractor, and it’s not,” said Bill Niehaus, the organization’s secretary. Volunteers collect money, work in the kitchen, mow grass, paint, perform building maintenance, and help out at monthly events like barn dances and chicken dinners.
Of the estimated 50 current members, a small core group volunteers on a regular basis. The rest help out at Plagman Barn Show Days, overseeing steam powered engines, single cylinder engines, and horse drawn equipment. Volunteers run machinery for threshing oats, chopping silage, baling straw, cutting wood from logs, and a working grist mill. Help is needed to make interactives like a blacksmith shop, butter churning, a horse pull, and an antique
tractor pull possible.