Note: This feature is in the Oct. TF 2018 issue
Tucker Wichman, of Ridott, Ill., has a knack for making farm toy collectors feel old. He is just 11 years old, and he is already a grand champion at the Stephenson County Fair, something some collectors wait a lifetime to achieve.
The sixth-grader has been in the Country Cusins 4-H Club since he was 5, and plans to join FFA in high school. Tucker's 4-H projects related to tractors have won grand champion every year that he has entered at the Stphenson County Fair. Last year, Tucker won grand champion at the fiar when he showed a small portion of his Case IH farm models as a 4-H collection project.
When asked if farming was in his blood, Tucker grins and replies, "No, RED is in my blood–red as in Case, CaseIH, International Harvester and McCormick-Deering Farmall. I live and breathe red tractors."
Both of Tucker's parents (Adam and Ashley Wichman) were farm kids and, today, the family lives on a small farmette near Ridott.
"Dad grew up on a dairy farm in Lena, Ill," Tucker said. "Mom grew up on a small beef farm near Ridott. Mom'd dad, Grandpa DuWayne Olson–called Bumps by us grandkids, actually had more of a hobby farm then a working farm, but he always had lots of different animals, which made visiting him very exciting."
Although Tucker doesn't live on a working farm, both Adam and Ashley have tractors their dads once owned and used. Tucker, with some exaggeration, said, "I have been driving these tractors since I was born, and now I can drive all of them."
Like most farm kids, Tucker played with farm toys as a little boy. For his first Christmas, he received a Farmall Super H pedal tractor, which he still has in his collection. "I still 'play' with farm toys," he added. "Today, though, 'playing' means fiddling with my models and farm display, looking for ways to make it bigger and better."