THE MID MICHIGAN Old Gas Tractor Association (MMOGTA) hosted 630 4th-grade students from Christ Lutheran School in Oakley and the Chesaning, Durand, Millington, Owosso and St. Charles school districts for Rural Living Education Day on Friday, Sept. 28.
Rural Living Education Day included 24 stations that showcased equipment and skills that were essential to life in America before the modern amenities introduced throughout the 20th century. Students explored the expansive MMOGTA property in Oakley and all the working, vintage equipment unique to the MMOGTA.
Students checked out the MMOGTA’s fully operational stationary steam engines, handle mill, cider mill, blacksmithing shop, grist mill, veneer mill, shingle mill and sawmill, and they were given demonstrations in broom making, wood working, tinsmithing, quilting, rope making, threshing, corn shelling, shingle stamping, rock crushing and even tractor driving, which is always a favorite activity of visiting students.
The students were also able to milk Rachel, a full-size Holstein cow replica, compliments of Green Meadow Farms in Elsie. Hillary and Lauren, from Green Meadow Farms, explained to the students that a cow Rachel’s size weighs approximately 1,500 pounds, can consume 60 pounds of food per day and enough water to fill a bathtub.
Despite the typically chilly and drizzly fall weather, the 600-plus enthusiastic students thoroughly enjoyed the unique educational experience offered by the MMOGTA.
Bobby Cary, a student in Mrs. Newman’s class at Robert Kerr Elementary in Durand, can be seen behind the wheel of a vintage Oliver 950, one of the many antique tractors available to students during Rural Living Education Day.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)