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He Keeps Restoring Despite Health Issues
The popular saying you cant keep a good man down certainly applies to Steve Yackley. In his mid-70s, retired from farming and running a business, Yackley thought his number was up in the early spring of 2023. Fluid was building in his lungs, hed already gone through a quadruple bypass, his heart was supported by a pacemaker, hed dealt with stage 3 congestive kidney disease and bladder cancer, recovered from a stroke, had developed Parkinsons, and was plugged into oxygen 24 hours a day.
Yackley and his wife sold their Arizona home and moved back to Minnesota to face the inevitable. But Yackleys wife Judy and longtime friends know hes not a quitter. I was just too darn stubborn to have it all end like this; I had to have a project and a purpose, Yackley says.
On a cold March morning over coffee, he began thinking about his dads Ford 4600 tractor and wondered if he could give it new life. He thought it was worth a try, so Yackley bought a small building in Canby, Minn., and recruited his wife to help him insulate it, paint the walls, and create a workspace. I worked on the Ford for a week or so, and then a cold snap set in, so I had to take the tin to my basement for painting, Yackley says with a solid note of determination. Judy recalls going downstairs a few days later to see blue paint everywhere, but the metal looked amazing.
I really enjoyed getting that Ford looking brand new, so I decided Id find old tractors that Id used on the farm and give those new lives too, Yackley says. I bought a Farmall 560 like the one I used to farm with back in the 70s. Next was a Farmall 706, an 806, and then a 1206. Judy says the basement eventually had shades of red over blue, however, the tractors all look brand new and are in tip-top running condition.
His repainted tractor collection has caught the eye of locals in his small town, and hes also shown them at the nearby Porter Harvest Festival.
Yackley says when he finished painting the 5th tractor, hed learned new painting techniques and will probably re-do the Ford and the 560. I feel blessed even though Ive endured so many health challenges, but the good Lord keeps bringing me back, so there must be more to do, he says.
His brother-in-law has an International 1466 that hed like painted, so Yackley may tackle that one next. Judy, for her part, says, His shed is full, so that should be enough, but you know, well be married for 60 years in January 2024; I know hes stubborn and persistent, so hell probably do more.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Yackley, 102 Linden Lane, Canby, Minn. 56220-1155.

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6