This article was written by The Gravely Tractor Club of America.
The origins of The Gravely Tractor Club Of America (GTCOA) trace back to Craig Seabrook and Fred Kuntz, who started the club as the Model D & L Gravely Network in Novelty, Ohio, in 1995.
Others had tried but were unable to get a sustainable club going. Seabrook and Kuntz, however, persevered by founding a successful organization.
The Model D & L Gravely Network began publishing a club newsletter, Old Gravelys Magazine, with Steve Wilson as editor. In addition, the group started an annual gathering of members and their tractors, called a Mow-In. The first Mow-In was held in 1997 in Dunbar, W.Va., near the site of the first Gravely manufacturing plant.
In early 2000, the Model D & L Gravely Network evolved into The Gravely Tractor Club of America — and the Old Gravelys Magazine became the Gravely Gazette. The name change signified the inclusion of all models of Gravely tractors and attachments.
The Gravely Tractor Club of America’s logo
The GTCOA is an independent, nonprofit 501-(c)(7) membership association of Gravely enthusiasts whose mission is to enhance the Gravely experience for members by providing services, support, information and activities that promote fellowship, resulting from a shared interest in the ownership, history, preservation, maintenance, operation and enjoyment of all Gravely tractors and their attachments.
The GTCOA is governed by a 15-member board of directors that meets quarterly. Board members are elected by the membership for staggered three-year terms. Current board members hail from as far south as Florida and as far north as Canada, with many members living along the eastern coast of the United States. Recent changes in bylaws allow for greater representation across the country and around the world.
An annual meeting of the club is held in conjunction with the annual Mow-In. Mow-Ins are scheduled more than a year in advance, and are held in conjunction with other tractor clubs and shows. Events have been held in nine different states: West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Indiana and Delaware. This year’s Mow-In will again return to West Virginia, where Benjamin Franklin Gravely began developing and experimenting with his motor plow invention.
A GTCOA Mow-In, which was hosted in Brillion, Wis.
Current membership spans 43 U.S. states, two Canadian provinces and across France, Italy, Sweden, and Australia.
The GTCOA currently has nearly 1,000 members and publishes a quarterly full-color magazine called the Gravely Gazette, which contains member-submitted technical articles, stories and information. The Gazette’s mission is to inform, entertain and promote a sense of community among its members. There have been seven editors over the past 20 years; the current editor, John Damtoft, volunteered take the helm at the June 2015 Mow-In. The Gravely Gazette‘s goal for 2016 is to provide a minimum of 24 pages, with the annual Mow-In issue soaring to 32 pages, a first for the club’s magazine.
The GTCOA’s website contains an extensive library of manuals and information that the membership has gathered over the years. No other brand of tractor can match the comprehensive library of Gravely materials available, which covers the entire legacy product lines, the collective depth of knowledge of the GTCOA membership and the preservation of rare Gravely tractors.
The club also has a Facebook page where members share photos of their collections and discuss Gravely products.
Membership dues are $30 per calendar year. Sign-up is available online using a PayPal account, or via the downloadable membership form, with a check sent to:
P.O. Box 194
Avondale, PA 19311-0194
The GTCOA is such an important part of the Gravely brand that, in October, Ariens Company Chairman & CEO Dan Ariens launched the Pro-QXT Tractor to the club before launching to the public. Without Gravely enthusiasts like those in the GTCOA, Gravely’s history wouldn’t be nearly as rich.