Friday, August 6, 2010

Farmfest 2010

Two Guys From Scott County, Inc., a company consisting of my wife Nancy and me, finally made it to Farmfest, which was held at the Gilfillan Estate in Redwood County, near Redwood Falls, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this past week.

I need to explain that our products aren't all pink as they appear in his picture. But the hot sun beating through the tall, pink-striped Craft and Toy Tent sure gave everything a pink hew. 

We had to explain to farmers that our caps with our original artwork "Farming is the American Dream" were red, not pink. Several customers took us up on our offer to take the cap outside in the sun to check out the color.

Greetings to all of you who stopped by to say "Hello" to us at Farmfest. Nancy and I really enjoyed meeting you and listening to your stories. I'd like to list you all by name but, obviously, I don't remember them all.

I do want to say I was especially happy to have a sweet little girl named Lydia, from Franklin, MN, stop by with her mother to buy my new book, If I Were a Farmer: Field Work. I remember signing If I Were a Farmer: Nancy's Adventure for her during my visit to Franklin last spring.
Also, "Hello" to Pat Oswald, who attended my show at Frost, MN, and stopped by our booth on Thursday to buy A Farm Country Christmas Eve and a tee shirt.

We especially enjoyed taking to to members of FFA and Minnesota Farm Bureau.

Here's Nancy, the other "guy," working at the Two Guys From Scott County booth.

To anyone unfamiliar with Farmfest, I'll just explain that during the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's the State Fair's legendary Machinery Hill dwindled as the dealers took their displays to the farmers at a festival that could provide a more practical place to display their large machines. This farm festival added several huge tents full of craft and toy vendors, commercial displays of all types, booths for political groups, and places for political speeches.  Having the festival at the Historic Gilfillan Estate provides the added attraction of a tour of the house and other farm buildings.

From our tent, we had to venture through tall rows of corn to the other display areas. Pretty darn appropriate, I thought.

The first two days of the three-day event were so hot and humid that just breathing caused Nancy and I to sweat profusely. We did not venture out to take pictures. I admire those who came to the show and walked the grounds. For those first two days, the weather decreased enjoyment of the event and probably kept a lot of people home.
This is a photo of the Craft and Toy Tent from a distance.  It was by far the smallest of several large tents on the festival grounds.

Since I grew up in an era when "weed control"
meant hoeing thistle or picking mustard by hand, this huge sprayer caught my interest.

The third day, however, was cool and sunny, perfect weather, but the crowd kept us so busy we didn't have time to take many pictures. This was good for business but bad for blogging. We took pictures of some of the machinery about 7 A.M. on that cool Thursday morning before the gates opened.

When Nancy and I farmed in the 1970's, she did much of the field work while I was at school. Here she is contemplating those days on a tractor pulling a twelve-foot field cultivator.

We met Diana Uhlmann, a college student from Germany who was working as an intern with with a local radio station. She snapped a few photos of us, and then we asked her to step in the booth and pose. She purchased one of our Tee-shirts as a souvenir after I assured her our designs are totally original.  I didn't ask her for her impression of Minnesota, but she gave it voluntarily. "Everybody is so kind and nice to me and I'm a stranger."
I was going to tell her that we Minnesotans like to get to know people before we are mean to them, but I said nothing. Let the myth live on. Just kidding.
Diana was a very sweet person so it's pretty easy to see why people have been so nice to her.

Diana and Nancy posing in our booth. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our first Farmfest experience and vowed to return next year.

After the show closed at 4 P.M. on Thursday, we drove home immediately to prepare for our visit to the Dakota County Fair, Farmington, MN, where we will be selling our books, tees, and caps in the Display Building across from the Print Shop at Dakota Village, and I will be performing several times at the Chautauqua Tent during the run of the fair from August 9 through August 15. Hope to see you there!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like Farmfest went well for you despite the heat and that pink tent. Farm folks are a great bunch and I'm not surprised you felt so warmly welcomed.

    By the way, this event is located in my home county, Redwood, smack dab in the middle of the prairie and prime farm land.