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Ag Day GROWING, adds tractor parade and auctions

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By Randy Patrick

Nelson County Ag Day 2019 produced a bumper crop of visitors for its second farm-to-table breakfast, and added two new events — a tractor parade and a ham auction.

Larry Schenck, who coordinated the one-day festival, said attendance gets bigger every year, and this time he thought there were about 500 people who attended.

“We almost ran out of food,” said Schenck, who had been up since 2:30 a.m. Saturday and was tired at 8:30 when guests started lining up for the meal.

“We start out at 5:30 or 6 in the morning making biscuits from scratch and cooking sausage,” he said. “It takes a lot of preparation to have it available by 9.”

Schenck said the cooks did run out of sausage despite frying some 600 patties, but they had enough country ham, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes.

The food was provided by several local businesses, and guests were charged $10 at the door.

After last year’s farm-to-table breakfast, there was a local candidates’ political forum, but this year, there was a guest speaker, Warren Beeler, executive director of agricultural policy for the Governor’s Office, and a welcome from Gloria Bolin of Nelson County, the 4-H state president.

Dubby Faulkner was the auctioneer for the 4-H and FFA auction and the country ham auction, with Kentucky Farm Bureau agent David Williams paying $825 to benefit 4-H. Money for the breakfast tickets also supported the farm youth clubs.

 Ag Day started in 2011 and was part of the Nelson County Fair for the first few years, but it was moved up on the calendar because the organizers wanted admission to be free, and, said Schenck, “we just needed more room.”

This year, there were vendors’ booths from several agricultural businesses, including farm equipment sellers, insurance firms, a bank, a seed company, 4-H groups, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Beef Network.

There was also a line of antique and new farm tractors on display, and some of those took part in a parade from the Nelson County Fairgrounds to Court Square in Bardstown.

The tractors were popular with the visitors.

“I like the old tractors and all the people,” said George McCubbins of Hubbard’s Lane, who was talking with Kenny Fenwick while looking at the machines. “It’s just nice.”

Nearby there were some boys also checking out the tractors.

The youngest, Mason Brock, said he isn’t really a farm boy, but he likes engineering.

One vendor offered free ice cream, and children had an opportunity this year to milk a real dairy cow.

One volunteer brought some show heifers, and there was a demonstration by a group of mounted shooters, who fired revolvers, Old West-style, from galloping horses. That was new, too.

“It was a good event,” Schenck said. “As long as the good Lord gives us the weather, we have a good time.”

The reason for Ag Day is to educate and celebrate farming.

“The main purpose is to let people know where there food is coming from and let them know that agriculture is a big part of life,” Schenck said.

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