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Farmer Olympics Adds Fun To County 4-H Fair
Many county fairs and farm shows have team competitions of one sort or another, with names like Farmer Games or Agriculture Olympics.
  For a couple of years now, the 4-H Farm Olympics have been a big hit at the Henry County Fair in Indiana, says Gerry Yanos, Straughn, Indiana, who organized the contest two years ago.
  Groups of 4-Hers or 4-H alumni enter as teams, with six or seven members per team. The rules state a minimum of six and a maximum of seven team members.
  The Farm Olympics consists of seven events. Only one member of each team competes in most of the events. One - the wheelbarrow race - requires a rider and a pusher. And the final event, the big round bale roll, must be completed by all members working together.
  The events, in order performed, are:
  1. Get Dressed for Work Here, contestants must run to the closet (a chair in the center of the arena) and put on bib overalls, a coat, hat, gloves, and boots. Once dressed in the intentionally oversized clothing, they must run to the "barn," or finish line. All clothes have to cross the line with the contestant. If anything falls off, it has to be picked up and put back on before finishing.
  2. Feed the Hogs In this event, contestants grab a bucket, run to a water tank filled with shelled corn and fill it up. Then they run to a gate, open the gate and go through, then close the gate so hogs don't get out and dump their bucket of corn into a trough (another bucket). If they don't manage to get to the trough with enough corn to fill it, they have to go back to the water tank for more corn.
  "One bucketful of corn is enough to fill the trough bucket, if they fill the bucket full and don't spill any getting to the trough," Yanos says.
  3. Gather the Eggs This one's pretty self-explanatory. Five eggs have to be picked up and carried in a small basket over the finish line. There is a 5-second penalty added to times for each broken egg.
  4. Fix Machinery If you've ever hunted frantically through a can or bucket of odd sized bolts and nuts for the right ones to put something back together in a hurry, you'll understand this event. A container holds the right bolts to fit several holes in a steel plate, mixed in with a little bit of everything else.
  5. Feed the Cows In this event, contestants have to pick up a small square bale, carry it across the "barnyard" and throw it over a gate. They then have to proceed through the gate, closing it so the cows can't get out, and then place the bale in a "bunk" (a square marked on the floor). With the hay "fed", they then have to go back through the gate, closing it completely and finally, race back to the finish line.
  6. Wheelbarrow Race While one contestant rides, another pushes the wheelbarrow around an obstacle course. While no penalties are given for spilling the load, just the act of uprighting the wheelbarrow and reloading adds time.
  7. Round Bale Roll The entire team rolls a big round bale across the arena and back. "We used freshly baled and wrapped straw. Bales are tight and even so they roll straight IF they are pushed straight," Yanos says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gerry Yanos, 2575 East County Rd. 700 South, Straughn, Ind. 47387 (ph 765 332-2041; E-mail: farmingforfun@juno.com).

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #6