November 24, 2020

Tough Enough to Drive Pink

Anne Hagedorn’s 3010 Promotes Cancer Awareness

Anne Hagedorn John Deere 3010When Anne Hagedorn headed home from a KICD tractor ride in June of 2010, she swore it was her last tractor ride.

“The tractor ride was something the guys liked, but it wasn’t a lot of fun for me,” said Anne, 37, a self-described town girl who grew up in Sioux Rapids and lives on a farm south of Royal. “I told my husband, Matt, I’d keep going, however, if he would paint me a pink tractor.”

Matt immediately vetoed the idea—until a simple text message changed everything. “My friend Sue texted me later that day and said, ‘It’s the big C,’” said Anne, whose friend, Sue Logan from Primghar, had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

With tears in her eyes, Anne asked Matt for a John Deere she could ride in honor of Sue’s battle—in the shade of pink to represent breast cancer awareness. His response went from “no” to “let’s do it.”

Fight like a girl

Matt decided this tractor had to be special, and when he found a 1965 John Deere 3010 in Minnesota in March of 2011, he raced to get the restoration done in time for summer tractor rides. He had a friend from Peterson sandblast the chassis, while Brian Mortensen from Royal painted the classic rig.

Anne Hagedorn John Deere 3010When the 3010 was ready to roll, there was just one small issue—Anne had never driven a tractor before.

Matt, who owns Hagedorn Excavating, gave his wife a brief lesson and sent her on her way to Spencer. “I had no clue how to drive a tractor, but I had to learn quick,” said Anne, a stay-at-home mother who keeps busy with four children ranging in age from 19 to six.

“Stunned” was the reaction from everyone Anne encountered when she fired up the pink John Deere for its maiden voyage on the 2011 KICD ride. After seeing the “Fight Like a Girl” logo emblazoned on the front, with a pair of boxing gloves hung from the cancer awareness ribbon, people caught on, said Anne, who displays a small design on the tractor’s sides to announce she’s “Riding for Sue Logan.”

“People have been really supportive of this, because everyone knows someone whose life has been impacted by cancer,” Anne said.

In fact, the pink tractor has become the talk of the area. After answering endless questions during the tractor ride, Anne created a Facebook page for the project, Riding Pink, so that others can follow the effort. Nearly 1,000 people “like” the page, which Anne updates often with inspirational quotes, such as “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

Pink tractors rock

Anne Hagedorn John Deere 3010Anne continues to participating in tractor rides in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and has no plans to retire her pink John Deere. She also loans the tractor for special events, including “Pink Out” breast cancer awareness events at local schools from Clay Central Everly to Sioux Central.

“It has been amazing to see how much my own kids have learned from this,” added Anne, who noted that one of her six-year-old twins, Grace, recently decorated a school art project with pink ribbons.

Anne’s tractor has also been displayed for the past two years during the Clay County Fair, which provides a high-profile venue to draw attention to breast cancer awareness. “I told my husband that if I can get one woman to think about going for a mammogram, it’s worth it,” said Anne, who supports fundraisers for the Abben Cancer Center in Spencer. “Maybe we’ll save someone’s life someday.”

Above all, Anne is grateful that her friend Sue’s treatments have been successful, and her cancer is now in remission. “Sue is a very strong person and is so incredibly positive,” said Anne, who is still amazed that a simple show of support for her friend has turned into something much larger than she ever dreamed.

“If my pink tractor can put a smile on someone’s face and touch their life, I’m happy.”

 

 

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