Allen Adams brims with enthusiasm when he talks about Co-op and Cockshut tractors. And why not? He's got dozens of them in his collection. It's a hobby turned to passion that he began some 15 years ago.
Recently, Adams contacted Indiana Prairie Farmer to let us know that a major event comes to Bluffton, Ind., in August. It's the International Cockshut show, featuring collectors from all over North America.
The dates are August 13, 14 and 15 in Bluffton. More details will be available later. This year's show will feature a special wrinkle, Adams, Ossian, Ind., adds.
"We're highlighting combines this time," he notes. "There are still more around in one piece than you might think."
What many people don't know is that Co-op marketed a combine in the U.S. They were painted orange, Adams says. In Canada, the same machine, painted red, was marketed under the Cockshut name.
Part of the fascination of collecting tractors and implements from one or two brands is that you can learn the history of the company that made the products, Adams notes. In this case, it's a colorful history, involving innovation and practical marketing on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border. The saga finally ended in 1962, when Cockshut disappeared into Oliver, and eventually into the White tractor line.
In the U.S., Co-op tractors were made in Battle Creek, Michigan, and later in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But some were also made in Shelbyville, Ind. It's a part of the sage of Co-op and Cockshut that tie them to Indiana in a very unique way, Adams observes.
The Co-op/Cockshut collectors group also holds a winter meeting to attend to club business each year. This year's meeting happens April 2 through April 3, in Nappanee.