I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates
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Farm Show a trinket collector's treasure trove
By Barry Schrader.................................January
Moving on to trinkets, the most clever item I came
across was a little red ball that hangs on your pets collar
and lights up at night so you can track the little fellow outside
as he goes about his business. This came from Hills Pet
Company. NAPA Auto Parts, the show sponsor, had a roulette-type
wheel you spun to win a variety of small prizes. The most sought-after
was a NAPA logo cap, but I had to settle for a two-headed screwdriver
that clips into your shirt pocket. Realizing that I might stab
myself, I relegated it to our kitchen utility drawer. But it
will get used.
Armed with my DeKalb County Farm Bureau membership card, I
once again trekked over to the Northern Illinois University Convocation
Center last week for another Northern Illinois Farm Show.
This year, I got smart and went the first morning
while there were still plenty of freebies. After an hour of circulating
among hundreds of farmers and scores of booths, I came away with
some three dozen trinkets and even some useful tools for around
My vote for best yardstick of the show
goes to 1st Farm Credit Services that combined a walking stick
and measuring stick. You might even be able to put a spike on
the end and use a pair of them for cross country ski poles!
Then there was the calendar competition. My favorites
were the Orginal Classic Farm Tractors calendar from Farmers
Helping Farmers Company in Hinckley and the big colorful scenic
calendar offered by Hintzsche Oil of Maple Park. A close third
was the Country Memories paintings calendar provided free by
Burright Welding of Mt. Morris.
This stuffed horse named Whinny was given away at the
2010 Farm Show by State Farm.
Thanks to State Farm, which provided
large goodie bags at its booth, I was able to carry my stash
out to the car with no problem. I saw Farm Bureau President Paul
Rasmussen in the parking lot, and I bet he wondered what I was
lugging in that big red sack. State Farm also had you sign up
for a rocking-horse-sized stuffed pony in a drawing to be conducted
at shows end. Giving out my phone number reluctantly, I
nonetheless joined those coveting the cute little animal dubbed
Whinny. I havent gotten a call from them yet, not even
from a phone solicitor.
My favorite piece of lawn
equipment was a Dixie Chopper billed as the worlds
fastest lawn mower. Their Xcaliber model is nothing like
the 18-inch wide mower I used to ride from Falls Products in
Genoa when you barely could get up an incline on the two-wheeled
cart behind it. This 21st Century riding mower has a 74-inch
cutting deck and covers 8.9 acres of lawn per hour. It even features
a 12-volt adapter for your cell phone or iPod, a real incentive
to get that teenager in your family outdoors cutting the grass.
Its too bad the show doesnt draw the
big equipment like you see in the fields. If they were there,
I might climb into the drivers seat of a $250,000 combine
and pretend to know what I am doing up there. I would even be
happy with a 1950s tractor, maybe one from Dick Fowlers
collection. This Genoa farmer could fill the hallways with his
assemblage of Minneapolis-Molines. I think the show promoters
would be wise to bring in some memorable machines from the past.
I also enjoy listening to conversations going on
around me. I like what one farmer had to say when asked how things
are going. Every day is good, he responded. Now thats
the kind of attitude we all need to adopt, whether we had a good
harvest or only a fair return this year.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115