The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Ag Appreciation Day celebrates local farmers

This past Thursday, over 100 tractors lined up in Central Park, just a few blocks from campus. Around 700-900 people were slated to attend Grinnell’s 16th Annual Agricultural Appreciation Day. Ag Appreciation Day, as it is called, was founded when Jim Urfur’ 60 approached the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce. He felt that Grinnell catered too much to its downtown businesses, and needed to show more appreciation to the farmers surrounding the town. “They keep our economy going,” Urfur said, “and they help feed America.” The festivities featured tractors as old as one from 1937, tractor races, a raffle for two paintings by a local artist and a series of events for children, including a petting zoo, pony rides and a toy tractor pull. It also featured a speaker, Colleen Callahan, the IL Director for Rural Development for the USDA. Callahan strongly supports the message of Ag Appreciation Day. “It’s the personification of expressing appreciation for an agricultural community,” Callahan said. She emphasized the importance of the farmers who live and work around Grinnell. “Agriculture has been the lifeblood of this community.” Despite its proximity to campus, few Grinnell students attended the event. Many of those who did had wandered over from the nearby farmer’s market. Urfur wants to see Grinnell students become more tied to the people around them. As someone who has spent most of his life in Grinnell, he values the strong community and hopes other Grinnellians will come to do the same. Ag Appreciation Day ended with a parade of the tractors around downtown.

-Solomon Miller

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