Annual Farm Event
Raises Funds For
Charity And Brings
BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The attractions at the 17th annual Greene County Antique Farm and Tractor Show this weekend may have been a little "hit-and-miss," but no one there would have had it any other way.
Grandsons followed along proudly after their grandfathers as they browsed through decades of mechanical history, with many unique hit-and-miss engines serving as the highlight.
Of course, just as many tiny cowgirls trailed after their fathers and families as they strolled through the fairgrounds in cowboy boots.
The event was advertised as a tribute to agriculture and its early technology, but at the real heart of the matter was conversation for a community that loves to gather together.
This was the second year Mike Lucius said he has brought out his antique hit-and-miss engines to show at the event, but he freely acknowledged that the conversation and fellowship were the highlights of the day.
That's not to downplay the interest in the machinery though.
BOYS WITH TOYS
Leon Bird has helped organize this annual weekend-long event for 12 of its 17 years and is president of the board of directors.
This year saw more hit-and-miss engines than ever, along with a high interest in Saturday morning's auction, he said.
The top-selling engine went for $850, he added.
"Old men and their little toys," he admitted with a chuckle. "The only difference between a man and a boy is the price of their toys."
Of course, all the weekend events were enthusiastically received, Bird said, from the exhibition hall full of handmade crafts to the variety of entertainment.
The farmers' fun continued through Saturday with the auction, a tractor parade and youngsters who gave it their all in races and tractor pulls, taking home ribbons and other small prizes for their efforts.
And let's not forget the food.
On Friday evening, it was beef for dinner at an event held in conjunction with the show: the third-annual Beef Day Celebration, hosted by the Greene County Partnership Agribusiness Committee.
There, visitors were treated to chili, hamburgers and other beefy delights, all for free.
Event organizer Connie Kilday explained that the gathering, which also included games and informational booths, aimed to help the community realize the economic and cultural importance of Greene County's beef industry.
Milton Orr, director of the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension at Greeneville, said the beef industry has been a constant for Greene County for decades.
Greene County, he said, has 88,000 head of cattle, and somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 farms with beef cattle.
18TH ANNUAL SHOW?
Bird said he hopes to add more partnerships to grow the Antique Farm and Tractor Show in future years.
Over the past 16 years, the show has raised $73,250 for charities including Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House, Jonathan Taylor Scholarship Fund at Northeast State, among others.
"If we can just help some of these kids that can't help themselves, that's our goal," Bird said.