Sherry Schaefer is a
Greenville, Illinois (Bond County) native who was born and raised around tractors and
equipment. Her grandfather, Ervin Schaefer, was an Oliver
tractor dealer in both Granite City and Hamel, Illinois from 1936 -1965. Her
father, Oliver “Ollie” Schaefer, is a used Oliver tractor and equipment dealer
in Greenville, Illinois. The Schaefer family also owned and operated a national
tractor pulling sled service for more than 25 years beginning in the late
Schaefer worked along-side her father throughout the pulling sled years. When she was not tractor-pulling, Schaefer worked as a truck driver hauling grain to elevators along the Mississippi River. The hours she spent on the farm loading grain and tractor pulling gave her vast exposure to tractors of all makes and models to which she gained an affection for.
In 1993 Schaefer became the editor of the Hart-Parr Oliver Collectors magazine, which focused exclusively on the Oliver brand of equipment. Schaefer served in this capacity for 10 ½ years before venturing out on her own.
Determined to share her
knowledge and love of tractors with the world, Schaefer began her own
bi-monthly Oliver publication in 2004, known as Oliver Heritage Magazine. In
2008 she took a giant step and formed her own publishing company, 3-Point Ink,
LLC, now located in Greenville, IL. At
the same time, she started a new bi-monthly tractor publication, known as
Heritage Iron. The new magazine
was a bold step into a growing niche market focusing on tractors from the 1960-1985
era. Sherry writes her articles by using her own personal
library filled with tractor publications, magazines and farm reports from the
last century. She carefully plans out and researches every issue along with a
staff of hand-picked writers.
Schaefer has authored three books, Farm Tractor Collectibles, (MBI Publishing, in 1998), Oliver Tractors, (MBI Publishing, in 2001) and Classic Oliver Tractors: History, Models, Variations & Specifications 1855-1976, (Voyageur Press, 2009). Additionally, Schaefer has provided her expertise in other tractor-related books including: A Guide to Hart-Parr, Oliver and White Farm Tractors 1901-1996 by Larry Gay, Oliver Farm Tractors by T. Herbert Morrell, Oliver Photographic History by April Halberstadt and Ultimate American Farm Tractor Data Book Nebraska Test Tractors 1920-1960 by Lorry Dunning.
In January 2003, Schaefer
was picked and approved by the Smithsonian Institution to assist with the
restoration of the oldest mass-production gasoline tractor in existence. The tractor had not been in working
condition since 1960 and a small team of experts were chosen to bring the
tractor back to life for its 100-year anniversary.
In August 2003, Schaefer was an expert witness in Washington, D.C. to defend the Chinese Embassy regarding an international trade commission complaint filed by a US tractor manufacturer. She is an executive board member of the Illinois Rural Heritage Museum and a lifetime honorary member of the American Farm Heritage Museum. She has been the guest speaker at numerous community organizations and national tractor club gatherings.
Schaefer regularly travels
around the country to visit with former executives, engineers, employees and
farmers who are/were regularly involved with the manufacture or use of farm
equipment. She also attends
various trade shows, toys shows and tractor exhibits to share her passion of
the farm equipment hobby. Schaefer loves to Scuba dive and is certified in night
diving, Nitrox and underwater sign language. She took up scuba diving to get a break from tractors,
thinking nothing could be farther from that niche than diving to the bottom of
the ocean. On her first open water
dive, she dove to the bottom of a quarry where the first thing she saw was a
crawler tractor. At that point,
she realized there was no getting away from it. Recently Sherry decided to finish
something she started doing when she got out of high school - get her pilot certificate. The sky is no longer the limit!
Favorite Personalities Sherry has Interviewed:
Sam White, Jr. – Former President of Oliver
Jon Kinzenbaw – Kinze Manufacturing
Elmo Meiners – M&W Gear
Therran Tallman – Tallman Baler
“Big Bud” Nelson – Designer of Big Bud
Ollie Cunningham – Grandson of J.D. Oliver
Lou Leviticus – NE Tractor Test Lab Director & survivor of the Holocaust
Ray Bostedt – Director of Printing Dept. at Oliver
Max Armstrong - Ag Broadcaster/TV Personality
Ward McConnell - McConnell Mfg/Artsway Mfg.
Dave Curtis - Rite Mfg.