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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Farm show draws a crowd

  • Despite a rain-sprinkled weekend, Antique Engine and?Tractor Association president Kevin Bos said he was pleased with the group’s 2010 working farm show.


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  • Despite a rain-sprinkled weekend, Antique Engine and?Tractor Association president Kevin Bos said he was pleased with the group’s 2010 working farm show.
    “Attendance wise, Friday we had a record turn out and if Sunday didn’t hit a record, it was close. Saturday was down a bit because of the rain, but we still had a lot of people,” said Bos.
    The working farm show was the first at the association’s new site off Route 92 in rural Geneseo and featured more than 300 display items.
    “We’ve have ideas and have discussed small changes we’d like to make to help things work even better next year,” said Bos.
    “Next year is our 50th anniversary, and we thought about waiting and having our first show at the new site then and doing one big celebration, but we thought that might be a bit overwhelming,” he said.
    Moving to the new site for the 49th annual show “was a better idea,” said Bos. “Because it was the first year in a new location, we knew we’d have a few problems to work out, but overall, we got along quite well.”
    The?Antique Engine and Tractor Association’s fall show is first and foremost a working farm show.
    “Most shows either take place too early in the year or they take place on grounds where they don’t have access to tillable acreage. Since we’re a working farm show, we offer something that other shows don’t,” said Bos. “A lot of exhibitors want to come out and be able to actually use their stuff.”
    In addition to the antique mechanical equipment working the fields, this year’s show featured horse-drawn implements.
    “The horses were a very big draw. You were able to be out next to them and actually hear the plow cutting through the roots as the horses passed by. You don’t hear that with a tractor and plow,” said Bos.
    “I think those who had the horses also appreciated that we didn’t put a time limit on their demonstrations. We just said ‘Here’s your field, feel free to work until the horses are tired,’ and that’s what they did,” Bos explained.
    Using the antique equipment in the fields brings back memories for many watching the demonstrations. “It’s amazing the stories you’ll hear about the equipment from those at the show,” said Bos.?“They remember their grandfathers or their dads or uncles using the equipment.”
    Bos said plans for future shows involve more education as to work being done. “We try to have people on our people movers who are knowledgeable and can explain to people what’s being done, but we probably don’t do near as good a job at educating as we should,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We try to do our demonstrations slowly and in one direction so people can flag you down and ask questions if they want.”
    Bos said board members have discussed incorporating more hands-on educational experiences at the show in the future.
    “Preserving the heritage is important, but it’s also important for people to understand what it is you’re doing,” he said.
    Other demonstrations at the show included blacksmith work,  loom weaving and wood turning. “At those displays, visitors were able to go up and interact with the demonstrators,” said Bos. “Ideally, we’re trying to get to the point where people can come to the show and feel like they’ve stepped back to life in the 1930s or 1940s.”
    Though much of the equipment at the show is from those eras, some pieces, such as the steam engines, are more turn-of-the-century.
    “We had five steam tractors out this year. It’s a struggle for a lot of clubs to even get one, but I think they like coming to our show and knowing they can
    With the 2010 show at a close, Bos and other association members are now looking toward the 2011 show. “We already have ideas for next year,” he said.
     

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