Austin Hiebert: Then and Now
Hiebert’s 1958 Oliver 770 Diesel / Right: Hiebert shows off his Oliver 770 Restoration at a recent local parade in Newton, KS
When Austin Hiebert restored his first tractor, a 1953 Farmall Super M, he did not enter it into the Delo® TRC. But in 2012, Hiebert restored and entered a 1947 Oliver 70 Industrial. While that entry did not put him in the winner’s circle, it did give him valuable experience and in 2013, he entered his 1958 Oliver 770 into the Delo TRC. That tractor, which he still owns and uses on his family’s farm, earned him Reserve Champion status in the 2013 Delo TRC!
It was during the 2012 competition that Hiebert met Tabetha Salsbury Hammer, Delo TRC 2003 and 2004 Grand champion. Hammer intrigued him with her own experience from the competition that led her to major in automotive restoration at McPherson College. It was that insight that led Hiebert down the same path. Armed with a partial scholarship, Hiebert studied and graduated from McPherson in 2017. During the summer before graduation, Hiebert also interned with Hagerty Classic Car Insurance, Hammer’s employer.
“The Delo TRC was really a turning point in my life. During the time I competed, I was unsure of where I was going to attend college. Tabetha Hammer really played a large role in my decision to enroll in McPherson. I was able to continue to learn about restoration outside of tractors, and landed a part-time job with MECUM auctions at their tractor sales. “The Delo TRC opened the door in so many ways for me, and continues to do so through the connections and friendships I have made. It was one of the best experiences I have had. I was proud to have been among such a talented group of individuals, including both contestants and judges. I know my life wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t been a part of the TRC. Thank you to everyone for helping improve both my life and career.”
Through the Delo TRC Hiebert has also made lifelong friendships and connections. He says he stays in touch with 2013 Grand Champion Riley Hanson; his school advisor, Lowell Ely, and stays current on the competition through Delo TRC social media.