Massey Ferguson Helps Out in an Imperfect Storm

When a heavy snow and a sick child coincided, this Indiana father depended on his tractor to save the day.

By Nancy Dorman-Hickson | Photos By AJ Mast

Luke and Craig Kaster

Luke and Craig Kaster

The letter from Craig Kaster got our attention. First, the Westfield, Ind., man described a Sunday last January with heavy snow, –25˚F temperatures and 30- to 40-mph winds. But this wasn’t just a tale of winter woes.

“While we were watching the snow fall,” he wrote, “my wife [Mary, a nurse] began to get really worried … my 8-year-old son, Luke, was running a fever of 101+˚F despite being on his fourth day of antibiotics.”

To be prepared, Craig climbed on his Massey Ferguson® 1529 to clear his 400-foot driveway. The engineer purchased the tractor to use on his 6-acre property to grow trees for lumber and to provide Luke and older brother Levi a childhood like his own. “I grew up on 100 acres in the country,” he says. His grandfather had a Ferguson dealership and made and sold farm implements.

Craig would have appreciated a snowblade for the wet, heavy snow he had to clear, but used what he had: a box scraper and loader to clear the drive twice on Sunday. On Monday, Luke still had a high fever, as well as labored breathing. Unfortunately, drifting snow had completely re-covered the Kasters’ drive.

“[It was] like I had never plowed,” Craig recalls. There was nothing to do but start clearing again in the bone-chilling cold.

The tractor “didn’t miss a beat, even though I had not put any anti-gel in the fuel,” he says. After a few hours, the drive was cleared enough to reach the road where their 4-wheel-drive vehicle delivered the Kasters to the ER.

Luke was diagnosed with bacterial streptococcus pneumonia and received two antibiotics by IV. By Tuesday, the boy was well enough to go home.

Craig was grateful to the medical team, of course, but he was also thankful he had the tractor. Without it, he says, “We would have had to wait on somebody to plow us. It was an urgent situation. There wasn’t any waiting an extra day for the roads to improve. We just knew we had to get Luke to the hospital.”