Fun at the Leola Threshing Bee

Farm Forum

LEOLA – Darrel Yost’s farm was buzzing with activity on Sept. 22 for the 22nd annual Leola Threshing Bee.

Visitors needed only to turn at Leola’s Homestead Lumber and venture a few blocks south before driving onto the Yost property, where they could spend the day checking out machinery used by their parents or grandparents.

Yost said the threshing bee started as an idea.

“Three of us decided to have a threshing bee,” he said, identifying the others involved in the program as Scott Salzer and Dean Schock.

Now the show is organized by the North Central Heritage Museum. Schock is the board president for the museum.

“We put it on to give something to the community,” he said.

The threshing show featured equipment owned by Yost, as well as tractors and stationary machines brought by others.

Looking back, Yost said, attendance has gotten smaller, but those who come enjoy themselves and reminisce about past events, where the weather hasn’t been quite as nice as the 70-degree temperatures found on Sept. 22. Yost said some years have been much colder, and one year it was so windy visitors thought one of the buildings was coming down.

The day featured demonstrations and activities for all ages. Not only could visitors try their hand at old-style corn shelling machines and rope making, but those handy with a tractor had the opportunity to participate in the second annual tractor olympics. The tractor olympics featured eight events and 18 participants. Events included: a barrel roll, chicken dunking, corn planting, taking orders, a slow tractor race, blind man’s leap, the balloon pop and wagon backing.

The taking orders event featured a blindfolded driver who received directions from a passenger directing him around three tires. Blind man’s leap required the driver to make his way to a line painted on the ground and stop as close to the line as possible.

At the end of the day, Yost said, he hopes visitors leave with a little more knowledge about how farm work was done years ago.

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