September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
His pedal tractor collection sits neatly on shelves along the walls of his shop and two other buildings on the farm. Anderson, who milks 40 cows on his dairy near Waltham, Minn., has been collecting and restoring pedal tractors for the past 30 years.
"I started buying a few and was only going to collect a couple kinds, and I finally decided to keep on going," Anderson said.
The hobby started at the age of 30, when Anderson decided to restore the pedal tractor he had as a child. Since then, the collecting and restoring has never stopped.
Anderson's favorite kind of pedal tractors to bring home are the ones that need a little TLC.
"I like to buy them in tough shape and restore them," he said.
Restoring requires painting and applying decals. Anderson does all the painting himself. Each tractor requires about 10 light coats.
"The more paint you put on, the smoother they get. You just can't put on too much at one time," he said.
Some of the decals also require time and patience.
"Sometimes I have to soak them in water to get the glue off the backside. They're paper, paper thin so they rip easily," Anderson said.
When choosing tractors, Anderson doesn't pay attention to color - at least with his pedal tractors. From Olivers and Masseys to Case and John Deere, Anderson has them all and everything in between. Many of them are old, but some are new, others are in mint condition while others need work. Anderson even has custom-made tractors.
When looking for the next tractor to add to his collection, Anderson goes to auctions or scours the antique event of the year, Gold Rush. He also talks to others, such as the people who sell him tractor parts, about what kinds of pedal tractors they've seen.
A regular pedal tractor costs about $1,000; however, the more rare finds are sold for up to $6,000.
"The first tractors of its kind are the most valuable," said Anderson, who has a few rare models mixed into his tractors lining his shop walls.
Although most of the tractors are only on display, there are a few that are used every year. Since 1992, Anderson has promoted the dairy industry and his farm in local parades, attending between two and five every year. While Anderson drives his truck, dairy princesses and others in the dairy industry pass out cheese and milk. Driving around them are kids ranging from ages 5 to 10 on Anderson's pedal tractors.
"The kids get excited. They look forward to (the parades)," Anderson said.
Other than those few tractors for the parades, many of the tractors stay in their spots in the shed. Afterall, Anderson needs to keep them in the best shape they can be.
"It should be a good retirement investment," he said.[[In-content Ad]]