Tractor Pull icon Baird’s farm show memorabilia, equipment, more being auctioned

May 6, 2024 | 12:09 am

Updated May 5, 2024 | 10:16 pm

Agriculture enthusiasts likely remember Jerry Baird as one of the founders of the Championship Tractor Pull at the National Farm Machinery Pull in Louisville. While Baird died in 2020, much of his farm show memorabilia, antiques, farm equipment, and more are now available via an online auction. 

Baird joined forces with five other Owensboro natives — including Joe England, Donnie Bittel, Carl Mercer, Walter Harder Jr., and Billy Joe Miles — to start the tractor pull in 1969. They worked closely with the show to host the indoor pull, featuring three classes across two nights. 

More than 13,000 spectators attended the first show, far more than they projected. 

American Land and Farm of Beaver Dam is hosting the online auctions through May 15 here. There are three separate auctions. The first includes equipment, firearms, and tools. The second features household items, antiques, and farm show memorabilia. The third contains movies, movie ads, and more. 

AJ Woosley is organizing the auction and said they will also host an auction inspection, which resembles an open house, on May 6 and May 9 at 10565 KY 81 in Utica. 

In addition to creating the pulls, Baird developed the smoke collection system for behind the tractors. He also transformed the competition by inventing a laser tool and computer program to measure the tractor’s distance.

“There is a ton of stuff related to the pull, including drawings of the initially proposed display booths and memorabilia from the show,” Woosley said. “We also have some tractors, field cultivators, a hay roller, and other equipment.”

Woosley said there are also several toy and model tractors, including some farm show edition ones. There is also an Owensboro wagon in its original form that is available for auction. 

Baird was a former TNT Motorsports Truck and Tractor Pulling partner for 11 years. In 2010, he was inducted into the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame. 

Baird was born and raised in Daviess County, eventually graduating from Daviess County High School and the University of Kentucky. The commonwealth’s governor also named him a Kentucky Colonel shortly after his retirement.

May 6, 2024 | 12:09 am

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