By Kerry Coxon, Alex’s mom
Belgrave, Ontario, Canada
Alex started reading about Steiger tractors online around grade 3 or 4. Honestly, he was avoiding doing his math at school and was using his time online to look at big tractors instead of doing his work!
We had a video on Big Bud, and for a while, he loved the Big Bud 747. Then he started telling us very detailed stories about Steiger and how two brothers started building a tractor in their barn, because their dad had them doing custom farm work with CAT crawlers. We live in southwestern Ontario, where farms are typically small—about 100 acres and flat with well-drained soil. Given the typical farm size, when I was a kid, our “big” tractors were 1070 Case or 1105 Massey. We didn’t have a need for 4-wheel drive. Therefore, we were not familiar with Steiger. Alex asked for a Steiger tractor for Christmas that year, because he only had small John Deere and Case toy tractors, typical tractors in our area. Santa also brought him some Steiger videos! We all learned a great deal that Christmas morning, and we had a newfound interest in Steiger.
Fast forward to the 2022 Rumely Expo at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion (WMSTR) in Rollag, Minnesota. Alex has been planning that when he is older, he will have a farming career, eventually move to Minnesota, and work with Steiger Tractors. We were planning a camping vacation to northwestern Minnesota, where we would stay at the WMSTR campground. Alex had already researched the area and had determined how far it was to the Bonanzaville, U.S.A. Museum where we would be able to see the very first Steiger tractor. We figured we’d have enough time to sneak away from the WMSTR show to go to West Fargo to see it. We drove our truck and camper across Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota and eventually pulled up in Rollag. Alex’s eyes lit up when we saw the Big Tractor Parts sign in Rollag. Big Tractor Parts manufactures replacement parts for a range of older Steiger tractors and was the maker of the Steiger video that we all watched that Christmas morning! We had to stop and go in, and I must say, everyone there was so nice! We were there for about two hours. Thanks to the McIntyres for their hospitality.
The next few days were the highlight of Alex’s life. Once we got to the WMSTR camp, we went for a walk around the grounds where we found the new Mark Yaggie STEIGER HERITAGE HALL built to replicate the Steiger barn—and there was Steiger #1 parked right there! Steiger #1 had been brought from Bonanzaville to Rollag for the Labor Day weekend. The look on his face! I thought he was going to cry! We did get to take some pictures before it got dark.
The next couple of days are when his dreams really came true thanks to the wonderful people who keep the Steiger Heritage Club going. Alex was given the opportunity one evening to go out for a walk on his own. Mom, Dad, and both his little brothers were tired from walking all day, but he wanted to go see the tractors again. While he was out looking, he got the chance to get up on Steiger #1 and start it up! They had just moved it inside the barn for the weekend, and Alex had missed seeing it run. When he commented that he had missed it, a Steiger Heritage Club representative took him up, let him sit in the seat, and fire up the big Detroit! He was so excited when he returned to camp! Just glowing!
He had heard that Doug Steiger was planning to make the trip to Rollag sometime during the next few days and checked in daily, then hourly, until Doug arrived. After some photos were taken with Doug and Steiger Heritage Club members and his family, Alex was given the chance to meet his idol. Doug was so kind and talked to Alex for about an hour about all kinds of adventures and life experiences. Doug even signed Alex’s Steiger shirt! His last statement when we parted ways was for Alex to consider a career in sales, because handsome men make good salesmen. Since meeting Doug, Alex has made big efforts to improve his schoolwork! He has been working hard to get his math grades up. After all, a salesman needs to be good at numbers.
Thanks, Doug, for making such a big impact on a kid and for making a big tractor!