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Wis. students restore antique tractors

Wis. students restore antique tractors

The tractors will be on display during local events in 2019

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Two high school juniors from Lake Mills, Wis. are celebrating the completion of tractor restoration projects they started in February.

As part of his FFA agricultural mechanics supervised agricultural experience project Trevor Messmer restored a 1952 Massey-Harris 55 Diesel. His classmate, Cody Ziebell, worked on a 1941 Allis-Chalmers Model C.

The students wrapped up their projects in October.

The tractor Messmer worked on had sat in a shed for about 20 years, which helped maintain the 55’s body.

“The tractor was in pretty decent shape,” he told “There were some parts that were worn out on the front end and the previous owners welded on some weird fender extensions that I cut off. But other than that, the sheet metal on the tractor was pretty straight.”

Trevor Messmer and his 1952 Massey-Harris 55 Diesel

The hardest part about the restoration project was moving the tractor from the storage shed back to the family farm, Messmer said.

He put a fresh coat of paint on the tractor with his father’s help and Trevor is pleased with how the 55 turned out.

“It looks better than I thought it would,” he said.

Messmer’s classmate, Cody Ziebell, worked on a 1941 Allis-Chalmers Model C.

Cody Ziebell with his 1941 Allis-Chalmers Model C

The restoration went smoothly for the most part, but Ziebell found one job challenging.

“The wiring was the hardest part for me because I don’t do a lot of electrical,” he told “I had to replace the radiator, but everything went really well.”

Luke Wiedenfeld, the students’ teacher at Lake Mills High School, is also their FFA advisor. He assisted them during their projects.

Watching his students complete the tractor work gave him a sense of pride, Wiedenfeld said.

“I’m really proud of Trevor and Cody,” he told “They both put in lots of hours outside of the classroom and during the summer, so to see the completed work is really special.”

Others will also get the chance to see Trevor and Cody’s work.

Both restored tractors will be on display during the 2019 Wisconsin State FFA Convention in June and the 2019 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in July.

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Comments (1)

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good job kids the tractors look very nice
Bryan Trunzo |Feb 23 2019 5:06AM