Former kibbutz member Yossi Simchoni has a vacation tip for you: leave your car in the parking lot and drive a tractor instead.
 
Children riding miniature tractors.

Photo: Israel National News
 
Simchoni is crazy about John Deere tractors. He went all over the country looking for old John Deeres, no matter how battered they were, and then he repaired them and put them in his $1 million museum. He opened up JDland in an old building two years ago in Kfar Tavor, located several miles north of Afula and at the foot of Mount Tabor in the Lower Galilee.
 
The John Deere company was not happy about Simchoni's using its name when he opened up the hands-on museum two years ago. "They threatened legal action for using their initials and sent the manager for the entire Asian district to talk with me," the former Kibbutz Geva member relates. He took one look at what we did and was so excited that he said, 'Don’t worry about a thing.'"
 
Sign from yesteryear sits in the driver's seat.

Photo: Israel National News
 
Simchoni's family has been in involved in farming since 1815 in the Ukraine. His grandfather made aliya as part of the movement to settle and farm the Galilee. Simchoni left the kibbutz in the 1980s to start up an automatic machinery factory, but he never forgot about farming.
 
"I thought two or three years how to bring the idea of farming to the public, so they can understand the cycle of the plants and the strong connection between man and land," he recalls. "I have an obligation to agriculture, and I want to transmit the tradition and message that Israeli farming has left for us."
 
Simchoni helps child on a restored combine.

Photo: Israel National News
 
He used profits from his company and invested $1 million dollars in fixing up tractors, buying an empty building for the museum and installing a small theater with moving chairs so viewers of a film on tractors can simulate being in the fields and fell the jerky moves of a tractor.
 
A very young tractor driver.

Photo: Israel National News
 
More than 10,000 people visit the tractor museum every year. Meanwhile, Simchoni still is looking for old tractors to repair.
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