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Ag appreciation day to happen in Central Park

Ag appreciation day to happen in Central Park

This Thursday, Sept. 11, look forward to Grinnell’s annual Ag Appreciation Day in Central Park, celebrating the achievements of Poweshiek County farmers. The fun-filled day will feature Hyvee-catered pulled pork sandwiches, free popcorn, live music by Route 66, an antique car and tractor parade, tractor-themed games and much more.

Ag Appreciation Day was founded 15 years ago by combined efforts of Grinnell resident Jim Urfer and Grinnell’s Chamber of Commerce. This year’s festivities will be the second year that the local Grinnell Lions service club is hosting the event since the club took over the hosting responsibilities from the Chamber of Commerce. 

According to Darcy Swick, the second Vice President of the Grinnell Lions Club and a member of Ag Appreciation Day’s planning committee, the first Ag Appreciation Day was started as something that “would bring the community together to celebrate [agriculture] appreciation for all the farmers.”

Keeping with the theme of agriculture, Ag Appreciation Day always features an antique tractor parade. “Farmers from all over the state of Iowa bring in their antique tractors they’ve fixed up,” Darcy Swick said. Though past Ag Days have had a turnout of 50 to 55 tractors, Swick is hoping for “about 100 tractors in Central Park [this year]. People can walk around and look at the old tractors that have been refurbished.”

This year, Ag Appreciation Day will also feature two antique cars next to the tractors, one from 1960 and one from 1958, though the make and models are not yet announced.

Attendees who have brought their tractors can also partake in tractor-themed games. Previous years featured an egg-and-spoon race while driving tractors.

The Central Park event will also recognize two awards this year: the Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award and an Agribusiness Award.

The Jim Urfer Spirit of Farming Award (created last year as a memorial to Jim Urfer, who passed away that year) is given to a farming family in Poweshiek County who is active in their community. Ag Appreciation Day’s Agribusiness Award is a new addition this year; it will recognize an agribusiness that gives back to its community. Agribusinesses are businesses that support agricultural production, such as seed and animal feed producers, farm machinery producers or even banking businesses that give out loans to farmers.

Swick is optimistic for this year’s turnout. Last year’s Ag Appreciation Day had around 200 attendees, but Swick is hoping for 200 to 300 people celebrating agriculture together this year. 

Swick encouraged Grinnell students to come and support the event. “It’s fun to get to see the [agriculture] and see how it affects our community,” Swick said.

—Community Editor Jenny Chi ’17 contributed to this report.



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