Reducing risk runs in the family. Ag Guard founder Gregg Denholm and his dad, Harold, were both devastated when Gregg's mom, Aileen, died of breast cancer in September 2007. Harold had read about two brothers in Iowa who worked together on tractors, and when one of the brothers died, the other painted a tractor pink in his honor. Harold told Gregg about the pink tractor, and they decided a similar tribute to Aileen might help with their grief.
For two years, Gregg and Harold worked on "Mom's Tractor." They completely disassembled the 1951 Farmall "Super C," fixed leaks, and cleaned each part. Then they carefully mixed red and white paint together until Harold felt they had the shade of pink used for breast cancer awareness ribbons.
What started as a unique type of grief therapy and a private tribute to "mom" grew into something much bigger. Harold Denholm didn't know the pink tractor would get so much attention, but he was just fine with it. The tractor is now driven in parades and displayed at events, fairs, farm shows, and coventions to promote awareness and the need for early detection of cancer.
"Every time I go out I figure 'if I can encourage one woman to get her mammogram,' I've had a good day. We need to find a cause and a cure, but the best thing we have now is early detection." -Harold
Harold's father purchased the Farmall tractor new in 1951. The day the tractor was delivered to his father's Leavenworth County farm was the day the rain that caused the great flood that year began to pour from the sky. The Farmall (the first tractor on the farm with headlights, an electric starter, and power lift) was used to work the ground, plant, cultivate and harvest crops, feed livestock, mow, rake, and bale hay. The farm eventually required larger equipment, so the Farmall was passed on to Aileen and equipped with a 5-foot belly mower which she used to keep the grass trimmed in their yard and along the county road bordering their property. The little Farmall became known as "Mom's Tractor."
Initially, Harold refused to accept any financial support and paid all expenses associated with displaying the tractor himself. But the popularity of Mom's Pink Tractor grew so much that he eventually needed a sponsor, and what better sponsor than Ag Guard. After all, we are both dedicated to reducing risk. Hopefully, we will cure cancer, but we will probably never have farm machines that don't breakdown.
Western Farm Show: www.westernfarmshow.com
Amelia Earhart Festival: www.atchisonkansas.net
"Mom's Tractor" - Doug Rich, Harvest Heroes, Jan. 27, 2011
"Pink tractor promotes cancer awareness" - Jan Biles, Topeka Capital-Journal, Oct. 3, 2010
"Saturday's Tonganoxie St. Patrick's Day Parade will have a touch of pink" - Shawn Linenberger, Lawrence Journal World, Mar. 9, 2010