Smiles were prevalent, especially among the youth, Saturday during the Central Missouri Agriculture Club’s annual Ag Expo on the Missouri State Fairgrounds.
Saturday’s attendance for the two day event hosted in the Mathewson Exhibition Center and in the Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall was markedly up from the day before.
“We’re doing good,” Kay Sparks, Ag Club treasurer and Pettis County 4-H youth specialist, said. “We’ve had a really busy day today. Yesterday was a little bit slow, normally Friday is our (busy) day and today it’s just reverse. Saturday has been a really good day.”
“There’s a pretty good crowd here today,” Janice Klenke, Ag Club member, added. “There will be a lot of them here at 1 o’clock for the Pedal Pull.”
The Pedal Pull was only one of the many events putting smiles on children’s faces Saturday.
Upstairs in the Mathewson Center Olivia Harrison, of Sedalia, was excited and surprised to find she had won a blue ribbon and $100 for her photo “New Purpose for Old Rust,” in the Ag Club Photo Contest Youth Division.
Olivia was attending the event on Saturday with her grandparents and her parents Brandon and Staci Harrison.
“Last year she won second and third place,” her mother said.
This year’s theme was “Farm Equipment Old and New,” and categories were for both youth and adult.
Downstairs on the floor of the Mathewson Center Haddie Cornine, 4, was busy watching baby chicks at the Tyson Foods display with her maternal grandmother Sherry Davis, of Cole Camp. Her delight at the chicks was event as her grandfather Gary Cornine, of Sedalia, who was a vendor for C & B Guttier Solutions, came over to see her.
Haddie was attending with her mother Laura Cornine, of Sedalia who said the family comes each year to the event.
In The Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall Nicholas Zuvich, 3, was busy pretending to drive a 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 4-wheeler. His mother, Malleri Zuvich, said they attend the event when possible and live on her grandparents local farm, the Meyer Farm.
Busy coloring, Brooklynne Wallace, 5, was close by her grandmother, Cindy Jolly’s, side at the Cole Camp Antique Tractor Association display on the floor of the Mathewson. Jolly, a member of the association, was working the display with fellow members Linda Richardson, of Lincoln, and Howard Mettenburg, of Otterville.
Jolly said each year that 400 to 600 Pettis, Benton and Morgan County fourth and fifth graders attend the Tractor Association’s fall show in Cole Camp.
“… We show the children farm life of yesteryear,” Jolly added. “We have different events throughout the whole year that we set up. Everything we do is basically for the children when they come in September.”
She added that every year the group tries to add a new demonstration for the fall show. Often the children who attend the event send letters thanking the group.
“The letters are worth a million dollars,” Jolly noted.
Jolly said during the show they show the children how a sawmill is run, how sugar cane is pressed to make molasses and how apples are pressed into apple cider.
“A little boy said last year ‘your fresh apple cider was heavenly, but your molasses was not my cup of tea,’” Richardson said smiling.
“We have a blacksmith who comes there and we have a man who comes with an old stone wheel and sharpens knives,” Jolly added. “We do homemade butter … We rendered lard last year and we’re trying to locate a big copper pot for outside because we want to incorporate apple butter.”
Along with area schools the the Central Missouri Ag Club takes area children to the event each year. Jolly added that this was Tractor Association’s 25th year and that they had been attending the Ag Expo for several years.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.