Still Pullin' Strong For The Community

The smell of fall in the air means one thing to Mark Hawthorn. It’s pulling time! Hawthorn, of Monticello, founded the Green County Fall Nationals Truck and Tractor Pull to combine his passion of tractor pulling with an opportunity to give back to Green County residents who suffered financial hardship through illness or tragedy. He is amazed that what was originally planned as a one-time event in conjunction with Farm Progress Days in 2006 would still be going strong 16 years later.
Each year nearly 5,000 people attend GCFN, where approximately 120 trucks and tractors from across the country compete for money and points championships. Getting to that day comes with a lot of hard work.
“The success of this event is a combination of faithful sponsors and volunteers who continue to give time and money year after year to keep us running smoothly,” said Hawthorn. Hawthorn added that without the support of the more than 170 sponsors, GCFN wouldn’t exist. “We have sponsors like Washington Implement, in Monticello, who have been with us since the beginning. Even when times have gotten hard for a lot of businesses, they keep coming back and supporting our efforts to support the community.”
GCFN’s contributions to the community range from larger donations to several Green County organizations to high school scholarships in each of the school districts of the county to individuals and families. Since 2007, more than $500,000 has been donated to the Green County communities.
“We don’t change their world, but we are able to hopefully put a smile on their faces, which means a lot when you’re going through cancer,” Hawthorn said.
This year GCFN is trying something new with a partnership with the Kiwanis for the annual can coozie fundraiser. Funds raised from coozie sales will be matched dollar for dollar by GCFN. The funds will support a Kiwanis project to provide iPads to autistic children in Green County.
Can coozies can be purchased for a minimum $3 donation the day of the pull, or by visiting Hawthorn Tire and Sales before 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.
The 16th annual Green County Fall Nationals Truck and Tractor Pull will be held on Saturday, September 24th, at the Green County Fairgrounds in Monroe. The event starts at 11:45 a.m. with the flag presentation, and will run until approximately 7:00 p.m., followed by local favorite Cherry Pie playing 8:00 p.m.-Midnight. Advance tickets include admission to the pull, band, and entry to drawing of nearly 50 prizes. Tickets purchased at the gate on the day of the pull are $20, but don’t include the drawing. Band admission is $5. Kids under 12 are free. Parking (other than pit parking) is free for spectators.
More information about the event, sponsors, and ticket sales can be found at