Why a NY Farming Community Rallied Together to Hold Tractor Protest
A New York farming community came together in a tractor protest to defend another farmer's rights.
The parade of tractors, and even lawnmowers, rolled down the main drag in Norwich, New York early this morning to support high school student Braedon Baker after his tractor was impounded.
Restoring Old Tractor
Braedon has spent the past two years restoring an old 1952 tractor that he worked hard to earn enough money to pay for. "He's very proud of it," said his father Rob Baker.
When Braedon drove the tractor to Norwich High School last week, Rob says he was escorted to the office and his tractor along with a manure spreader hooked on the back was impounded. "I had to call the school and ask why it was impounded since it's not against the law to drive a tractor on the road. They didn't even give me a lawful reason."
Violation of Rights
Rob is a retired Marine who says he's always supported and defended our Constitution. "This was the first time I felt like the rights I fought for were violated."
And it cost Baker $325 to get his tractor out of the impound lot.
The tractor drama caught national attention after Braedon reached out to Whistlin Diesel, a social media influencer with millions of followers. "He never thought he'd respond but it quickly went viral after it was posted," Rob said.
"When I was younger the school literally had a day intended for kids driving their tractors to school," Whistlin Diesel wrote in a post on Instagram, where he offered to pay $500 to everyone who drove their tractor to school. Later there was a cap placed on the promise.
Because I am unaware of how many tractors are in Norwich NY AND I want to hold my word of giving $500 to everyone who participates. I’m setting a cap at $30,000.
Line of Tractors
Good thing Whistlin Diesel put a cap on how much money he'd be handing out. Several students and even adults gathered about 3/4 miles from school at the Grand Union in Norwich, on Monday, May 9. They came on tractors, lawnmowers, and push mowers. "They were up really early to have enough time to get into school," Rob said. "They even got there early."
NY Farming Community Rallies Together to Hold Tractor Protest
Justin Smith of Alien Droneworks captured the protest from above. Watch as tractors line up and get ready to roll down the main drag is a sign of solidarity.
Police & School Support
Police were on hand to direct traffic and the school even had a dedicated space for the tractors and lawnmowers to park. "I'm glad everyone came together to stand up for what's right and supported my son," said Rob, who is hoping some good will come out of the tractor protest. "I'm hoping a Future Farmer's of American chapter (FFA) will grow from this, which is a good thing since we live in farm country."
The only thing unresolved for the Bakers now is the impound fee. "I want the $325 back my son worked hard to earn and had to spend to get his tractor out of the lot."