The Planted Row: Test your skills at the fair

Stan Wise
Farm Forum Editor

When I told my father I was moving to Aberdeen 10 years ago, the first thing he said to me was, “Hey, they’ve got a great county fair there!” He helped organize the county fair near our family’s farm in Mississippi, and somehow, he had learned about the great fair Brown County holds every year.

The fair lasts a week, and it seems to hold something for everyone. It has so many different forms of entertainment, and it seems to have a contest for just about everything. I’m always surprised by the number and variety of acts for children and adults alike, and the food options seem to get better every year.

Somehow, the organizers even figured out a way to make doing chores both fun and profitable.

Think you’re pretty handy with a wheel barrow? Can you drive a stake in no time flat? Know your way around a bale of hay? Test your farm skills at the Brown County Fair, and you might just be crowned this year’s Super Farmer.

Every year, the Farm Forum sponsors prizes in the Super Farmer competition at the Brown County Fair, which consists of four contests based on basic farm tasks.

1. Wheel Barrow Race: Each contestant will load four wood chip bags on a wheelbarrow and push it through an obstacle course. Fastest time wins. Two contestants race at a time.

2. Steel Post Driving: Each contestant will pick out his/her own steel post. A driver will be provided. At the signal, contestants will run to designated areas and drive the steel post into the ground to a mark on the post, then run back across the starting line. Fastest time wins.

3. Bale Throw: Each contestant selects their own bale from a stack. Each bale will be approximately the same size and weight. Contestant gets two throws; the best of two will count. Measurement will be from a marked line to the closest point of the bale, wherever it stops. The bale must be thrown from behind the line. Longest distance wins.

4. Skid Bale Stacking: Each contestant must construct a skid bale stack from the stack of bales that will be provided. The winner will be the contestant that stacks in the fastest time. Two contestants will compete at a time.

The first place winners in both the male and female divisions will receive a belt buckle, sponsored by the Farm Forum. Second place winners will receive $25 and a plaque. Third place winners will receive $15 and a plaque. The winner of each individual event will receive $5.

This year’s contest is Aug. 18 at the Kid’s Zone on the Brown County Fairgrounds. Registration starts at noon, and the contest begins at 1 p.m. There’s a limit of 10 contestants each in the male and female divisions, and contestants must be between the age of 16 and 100. There is no entry fee.

Entry forms for the contest can be found at

If you’ve spent years perfecting your bale throwing and post driving techniques, you should come out to the fair and show off. The contests are a lot of fun, and you could walk away with a shiny new buckle.

To fuel up for the contest, you can get a hearty breakfast of pancakes for just $5 thanks to the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee and its sponsors. The Brown County Fair Pancake Breakfast begins at 8 a.m. at the Clubhouse on Aug. 18.