On Saturday, we got to advocate for agriculture in a very fun way – we were in a parade!
Like most small towns, ours has an annual festival celebrating something that is unique or special to the area. In our community, we celebrate gladiolus flowers and peaches, both of which are locally grown in our area. In fact, we even have varieties of peaches that were bred and developed right here! The Glad-Peach festival is usually held in the first week of August and includes two parades, lives music, and plenty of festival food!
This year, we were asked to participate in the main parade on Saturday by bringing some of our big tractors to drive through the parade route. Dad agreed and the guys spent Friday afternoon cleaning up two of our tractors for the parade. We have magnetic decals that we fixed to the front of the tractor to display the farm name (usually these are placed on our semi-trucks).
On Saturday morning, we drove the tractors over to where the parade was assembling and got them into place. We participated in the parade as part of the tractor exhibit. Our community has a rich connection with agriculture, so this was particularly fitting. There were some antique tractors in the parade showcasing a history of farming. Our tractors made quite the contrast, especially in size!
I rode in the first tractor with my brother. My other brother and sister-in-law rode in the tractor behind us. Needless to say, it was a little nerve wracking driving those big tractors through the downtown area. It was even worse because there were so many people, many of them small children, and people aren’t necessarily something we usually need to be too aware of in the fields. There was one incident where a little girl did try to run out to touch the tractor. Thankfully, her grandfather grabbed her before she got too far!
Despite that, it was pretty cool to see the little kids mesmerized by the big equipment driving past them. We made quite an impression driving down Main Street! It was also fun to get my parade-wave on.
At the end of the parade route, we were able to park the tractors in the festival area so that people could come up and check them out, take photographs, and talk to us. It was a great opportunity to just meet people in the community and interact with the general public. The kids were really excited about being that close to the tractors and some of them took advantage of the photo opportunity.
Overall, I think it was a great chance for us to show off our equipment, promote our farm, and put a positive light on modern agriculture! Hopefully, we will be asked to participate again next year.