In a letter to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.”
The Hiwassee Valley Antique Tractor and Engine Club had these same objectives in mind when it was organized in 2003. The club has grown to 50 members who are dedicated to:
— Preserving our agricultural heritage through the collecting and restoration of antique tractors and farm implements.
— Promoting fellowship among members by sharing ideas and interests at a monthly meeting.
— Sharing our interests with the community by planing annual tractor and equipment shows.
The show will kick off Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the Salute to the American Flag. Dan Howell of Cleveland will be the guest speaker for the opening ceremony and will give the invocation.
Activities during the day will include the burlap sack race at 11:30 a.m., and after lunch, the pedal tractor pull will be at 1 p.m. corn shredding, Candy in the Corn and Blind Man’s Bluff will be followed by the Parade of Power at 2:30 p.m. The slow tractor race and the garden tractor slow race will begin at 3 and 3:30 p.m. respectively.
After lunch on Sunday at noon, corn shredding, candy in the corn and the burlap sack race will lead up to the pedal tractor pull at 2 p.m. The barrel roll happens at 2:30 p.m. followed by the garden tractor slow race and the slow tractor race. The Parade of Power at 3:30 completes the day’s program.
Food and drink will be served all day on Saturday and Sunday. Special activities scheduled are wagon backing for men, the wrench toss for women and the shoe toss for children, age 5 and under. Add to these, wheat threshing, milling and blacksmithing to fill the bill for kids of all ages.
On the entertainment stage, which is sponsored by Sonic Drive-In, will be Heartstrings Bluegrass at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by Zach Dylan, Josh Neyman and New Paved Road in the afternoon. On Sunday, Barefoot Nellie will take the stage at 1:30 followed by the 2X2 Quartet at 2:30 p.m. Also, the Charleston Elementary School Choir will be featured.
According to Franklin Taylor, member of the board of directors, this is one of the South’s best antique tractor and engine shows. t is planned to keep the spirit of farming alive and to offer the farming experience to the next generation.
The club members began working on the show in the middle of July. Taylor said it takes a lot of work to put on a show — putting it together and getting the vendors lined up. More than 100 tractors are expected to be in the show, along with six food vendors, crafters and the swap meet.
Jimmy Renner is president of the club, Ray Hindman is president, Lisa Cranfield is secretary and Michael Cranfield is treasurer. Others on the board of directors are Randall Lamon, Frank Cranfield, Terry Cranfield and Zane Albritton.
The club is a nonprofit organization which supports the local community. Proceeds have been donated to the Empty Stocking Fund, The American Cancer Society, Charleston Elementary School and No Pone Valley Emergency Fund.
For more information, contact Michael or Lisa Cranfield at (423) 593-8320; Jimmy Renner at 423- 618-8511; or Franklin Taylor at 423-653-7635.
You must own an antique tractor if ...
— You slow down while driving so you can try to identify a pile of rusted metal in a paddock.
— Your $2,000 tractor gets to stay in the garage while your $30,000 car sits outside.
— You hope this winter there will be enough snow so you can actually use your tractor for something.
— When you watch TV, you pay more attention to the farm equipment in the background than anything else.