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  • Robert Dobson grand marshal of Stirling 150th tractor parade
    By Suzanne Atkinson - AgriNews Contributor

    The Grand Marshal for the World's Greatest Tractor Parade has been selected. After much discussion and consideration from the many worthy nominations received, the Tractor Parade Committee narrowed the finalists down to four excellent candidates.

    The committee decided that while one Grand Marshal would be chosen, each of the remaining candidates would be asked to follow the lead tractor at the front of the parade as the decision was very difficult.

    Bill McKeown of Springbrook, Ont., was nominated for his never ending support of his community. Bill has been an avid supporter of the 4H Club, the 4H Beef and Plowing Clubs, local school fundraisers, the Springbrook Sunday School and the Stirling-Rawdon Township Fire Department both with his time and with fundraising. Bill is the owner of McKeown Motor Sales and his family-run business has been serving central Ontario for five generations. Bill will be showcasing many of his Massey Ferguson tractors in the World's Greatest Tractor Parade.

    Ralph Margetson of Consecon, Ont., was nominated by his grandsons who are proud of their grandfather's living legacy which he has achieved as a farming pioneer in Prince Edward County and a World War II veteran, after moving to Canada from West Titherly, England in 1917 at the age of 11. Ralph will parade a 1952 Farmall Super "A" through Stirling in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the village.

    Leland Pearsall of Picton was nominated as a farming pioneer who bought an original and rare tractor in 1945 – a Case Model S Orchard tractor to be precise. The tractor itself was originally built for export to Argentina but disagreements over foreign policy during World War II between Argentina and the United States resulted in a cancelled shipment of this model of tractor.

    Pearsall will be driving this very rare tractor in the World's Greatest Tractor Parade.

    The Grand Marshal for the World's Greatest Tractor Parade celebrating Stirling's 150th Anniversary will be Robert Dobson of Sarnia.

    Dobson, a lifelong farmer, will head up the parade on his refurbished D21 Allis Chalmers. Dobson, like many of Ontario's farmers, has dealt with adversity throughout his farming life and has overcome that adversity. In 1971, Dobson lost his right leg in a farming accident. Dobson walked out of the hospital three weeks later to his wife and children (aged two and six months at the time) and a barn full of cattle. Dobson, although disabled, is motivated by his determination, his family and his work ethic and not his disability.

    Dobson continues to farm today on his land in St. Clair Township, Lambton County.

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