Michelle Moe, 24, grew up in Sumas, and for four years has served as treasurer for the Puget Sound Antique Tractor and Machinery Association. She also works as a bookkeeper for an engineering company in Bellingham.
Moe is one of the organizers of this year's annual Threshing Bee, which runs Wednesday, July 30, through Aug. 2 at Berthusen Park, west of Lynden.
She talks about her involvement in the organization that, according to its website, "promotes the collection, restoration, preservation and exhibition of gas and steam tractors" and other early farm and forestry machinery.
Question: Why did you become involved with the association?
Answer: I thought my role as treasurer would be a great opportunity for me to get involved in an organization that I am passionate about to help preserve the history of agriculture. I went to the annual Threshing Bee years ago and thoroughly enjoyed myself, and after graduating from college and receiving my accounting degree, I joined.
I have lived in Sumas my entire life, and enjoy the small-town, country aspect of it.
My whole family is actively involved in this organization, especially my Dad, Loren Van Beek, who is the current president for the association.
Q: How many people are involved in the organization?
A: Annually, we have about 400 members, ranging from young kids to the kids at heart, both men and women.
Q: What might people see at the event?
A: For someone who has never been to our annual Threshing Bee, they can expect to see the history of Whatcom County agriculture and forestry in action. Our events are family-friendly, with live wheat-threshing demonstrations, operating steam saw mills, antique tractor and lawnmower pulling, kids' candy scramble and a kiddy train, stationary engines, swap-meet vendors, and an equipment parade.
There'll be steam engines, tractors and machines dating from the industrial revolution to today. There is no better way than to learn history than by seeing it in action.
This year will be the first year that we will have a pedal tractor display for all makes of tractors.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory from the event?
A: Last year, our association was selected by the Lynden Chamber of Commerce to be the Grand Marshall for the 2013 Lynden Farmers Day Parade. This was a great honor for our association because it shows us that our association and what we do is enjoyed by the public and for the community involvement that we partake in.
In my second year as a member, I learned how to tractor pull, and got hooked! I always thought it was fun to go out to the track will all the guys (and a couple other girls) and pull.
My favorite memory was when I was placed first for my weight class over the guys in my class. As a girl, it definitely boosts your pride to know that for that day, you beat the boys.
When: Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 30-Aug. 2. Swap meet open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (until 7 p.m. Aug. 1). Quilt display is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Where: Berthusen Park, 8837 Berthusen Road, Lynden.
Admission: $7 adults, $5 seniors, $3 kids 8 to 12. Camping available
Details: psatma.com, 360-656-5322.