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They Put Their Johnny Poppers To Good Use
In 2008 the Northern Indiana Johnny Poppers Club found a way to have fun running their old Deere tractors and also contribute to worthy local causes by plowing, planting and harvesting crops that are later sold and the proceeds donated.
“Last year, we divided up $21,000 between local food pantries, FFA chapters, Cancer Resources of Elkhart, and Cross Court Sports,” says Stan Kulp, secretary of Johnny Poppers. They raised the money after harvesting and selling about 65 acres of corn and 15 acres of beans.
In the spring and fall, there are typically 30 to 35 tractors with equipment to plow, plant and harvest. Most of the tractors are 2-cylinder John Deere tractors that were built until 1960. A few members have tractors with 4 and 6-cylinders made in the 1960’s, but everything is John Deere related. That includes one member’s 1917 Waterloo Boy, the forerunner of all John Deere tractors.
Several area sponsors provide fuel, seed, fertilizer, and acreage to the group for free or reduced rates. That includes a business that sprays weeds, so no cultivation is needed between spring and fall. The club honors volunteers and sponsors at an annual banquet.
“We primarily plant corn, but we’ve had a couple of fields for beans. This year we plan to do more beans because of fewer input costs,” Kulp says.
The club has 98 members from Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan and welcomes new members interested in John Deere tractors, equipment, and memorabilia. Dues are $20/year, and members don’t need to own a tractor. Members participate in parades and shows, and they produce a calendar and monthly newsletter. All share a passion for John Deere. Being able to raise money for local causes makes it even better.
“It’s a chance to work our tractors while doing something good for the community,” Kulp says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Northern Indiana Johnny Poppers, P.O. Box 656, New Paris, Ind. 46553 (ph 574-596-3400; stankulp@maplenet.net).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2