Just as his father, Tim, did 25 years ago, 10-year-old Tyler Makovec of rural Marion is experiencing his first wheat harvest this summer.
With a big smile on his face, the young protégé climbed up the steps to the open cab of the 1959 McCormick combine.
There’s no air conditioning, no radio, no power anything — just a farmer and his machine.
Tim’s father, Jerry Makovec, and grandfather, the late Oscar Makovec, purchased the harvester new in 1959 for $5,000 from Lynn’s Equipment in Marion.
“I was told to keep it greased and in the shed and it’ll last 50 years,” Jerry said.
He retired from farming 10 years ago, but still helped with harvest.
Last year, when the combine turned 50 years old, Jerry said he climbed down from the cab after cutting a field and said, “That’s it. I’m done.
“So, I passed it on to Tim to use,” he said.
Born into a family that loves farming, Tim is passing this passion on to his son. Although Tim doesn’t farm full time, when he does spend time in the field and on a tractor, he shares it with Tyler.
These days, the Makovec families don’t farm as many acres as they used to but enjoy it when they are able to get in the fields and reap what was sown.
On this particular day in this particular field, Tim and Tyler were cutting about 6.5 acres of wheat. They were trying to get an early start on it before it became too hot or worse yet, rained.
With one steady hand on the steering wheel and the other moving from lever to lever, Tim drove around the field with his son by his side. It was obvious the youngster was having the time of his life.
The sun beat down on the two farmers and dust curled around them, but they continued their task, cutting about 4 acres per hour with the vintage combine.
“I like to farm,” Tyler said.
He also likes riding on the 50-year-old combine.
“It gets the job done,” Tyler said.