Jon Silsby (Vicksburg, Michigan)
2019 NTPA Grand National Super Farm Champion
Jon Silsby loaded up for the season's final Saturday in Sandwich knowing exactly what he needed to accomplish. His "Crop Doctor" was two points behind Brady Ferris' "Absolutely Nuts" in what had become a titanic two-tractor tussle for the 2019 title. Each of the two contenders had three wins, with Silsby's coming via a Rockwell sweep and a Session Four triumph in Bowling Green and Ferris' arriving just before and after the Iowa trip (Hoopeston, Ionia, Brandenburg). Both had late-class draws for the first session of Tractor Day, and "Doctor" scored a second to Ferris' fifth to even the score and set up a winner-take-all for the DeKalb County Fair finale. There, Silsby pulled early, was passed only by Ryan Anderson's "Checkin' Out" (third, -16), and waited through eight more hooks before "Absolutely" came up a heartbreaking sixth, scarcely 10.5" behind the championship-clinching run. Among other finishers besides Anderson's fine freshman-year effort, veteran Chris Weidinger surged to fourth with "Black Power" (-19) on the strength of two seconds, two thirds, and two fourths, and the Ferris family's flagship "Assorted Nuts" (-28) finished fifth.