Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Man celebrates 102nd birthday with a combine ride
by Courtney Fiorina

CLEAR LAKE — Though Henry Vierkant is not yet 102, he got his present a little early this year when he rode in the cab of a combine Monday.

“I wanted to take him out for his 100th birthday but the weather was bad that day,” Jeff Meints, president and CEO of Titan Pro SCI, said.

Vierkant will turn 102 on Nov. 7. He farmed for many years near Meservey and retired in his 60s.

“It’s been at least 25 years since he’s been on a combine,” Meints said.

Titan Pro, launched in 2009, is a seed, chemical, crop insurance and fertilizer company in Clear Lake.

They began harvesting their test plots Monday in the field in front of their business and McKesson. It was the perfect opportunity to give Vierkant and others a ride on the large John Deere.

“It was fun,” Vierkant said.

Farming technology has changed a great deal in Vierkant’s lifetime and since he stopped farming.

At one point as the combine rolled through the corn, Vierkant saw on the computer screen that 800 bushels had been harvested.

“Back in his day, 80 was probably good for that amount of time,” Meints said.

Vierkant now lives at Apple Valley Assisted Living where he sits at the same dinner table as Darlene Meints, Jeff’s mother.

“They’re not a couple,” Jordan Meints, her grandson, said chuckling.

Darlene, 88, got a chance to ride in the combine as well.

“It was cool,” Darlene said.

As Vierkant hiked away from the large combine with his walker, he gave a great big smile to Jeff and his friend Darlene.

“He had fun,” Jeff said.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2016



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