Don Kayser of Burlington grew up on a 70-acre dairy farm near Lake Geneva. After graduating from Elkhorn High School in 1957, he operated a 139-acre farm while also working for Gethen Implement in nearby Zenda. Besides running errands and fixing tires, he overhauled engines in many Farmall Cub models.
“There were several estates in the area, and I was often called to help start and get these tractors going,” Kayser recalls. "I knew every inch of them and told myself that when I retired, I wanted a big garden and a Cub to handle the work.”
In 2011, he purchased a 1958 model Farmall Cub in Watertown and a No. 22 6-foot Cub mower for $2,500. He added an early 1950s one-bottom plow for $150 and also picked up a front blade to move snow and level dirt. The tractor is offset to the left while the driver’s seat and steering wheel are on the right. This concept was called CultiVision, resulting in a clear view while working the fields. The Cub, as it is widely known, was the smallest tractor manufactured by International Harvester under either the McCormick Deering, Farmall or International names from 1947 through 1981 in Louisville, Ky.
Features of this off-set tractor include: a hydraulic lift, one-point fast hitch, adjustable wide front end, PTO, two lights in the front and one in the back, three forward speeds, and reverse. With a rating of 10 hp, the Cub was primarily used on tobacco and vegetable farms and nurseries. It had new tires, but Kayser repaired some of the seals, redid the carburetor, tightened up the steerage, added a new seat and replaced the oil in the final drives.
“I use the tractor today to plow the garden, mow grass and blow snow. It has been to several antique shows and other events in the area,” Kayser adds. “This is my favorite tractor because I can use it like a toy. I’m passionate about the Cub and very happy to own one.”
To have your favorite tractor featured, send in a photo of yourself with your tractor, along with a 150-word write-up about the tractor to: Wisconsin Agriculturist, P.O. Box 236, Brandon, WI 53919.