- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Spencer County High School FFA sponsor and agriculture teacher Bland Baird remembers when the local FFA chapter began hosting the annual Farm Toy Show more than two decades ago, and, while it was a great event, he was not convinced it had the momentum to continue for years to come.
He now admits that he has been proven wrong. Twenty-three years later, the Spencer County FFA Farm Toy Show, which comes this time each year, is noted as one of the top-10 largest farm toy shows in the country.
He said the show’s beginnings are credited to SCHS alumni and FFA member Jason Karrer.
“Jason Karrer pretty much started it and I was just there,” Baird said.
Baird laughed as he described a discussion that he had many years ago with long-time friend and well-known farmer, the late Leroy Williams, about the show’s future.
“I remember Leroy telling me, ‘Bland, this farm toy show is a big thing, but I just cannot see it lasting too many years,’” Baird said. “I agreed with him at the time.”
Baird is now anticipating one of the larger shows in recent history this Friday and Saturday at the high school. The show incorporates farm toy collectibles, craft vendors and farmscapes, which are models of farms created to be 1/16 and 1/64 their original sizes.
The displays include toy farm equipment, animals and buildings. Many of the displays take months to create and are tiny replicas of local well-known farms.
Several SCHS students who are involved in the FFA have taken on the task of creating farmscapes that will be entered in the show’s competition. The farmscapes will be judged during the show and awards given out before the event is over.
Baird said he has already secured 52 farm toy vendors, with about 160 to 170 tables of merchandise and displays. There will also be more than 30 craft vendors selling handmade items perfect for meeting holiday shopping needs.
“We’ve had more response this time than we’ve ever had,” Baird said. “In the last week, I’ve gotten four or five phone calls a night, at least.”
Exhibitors and vendors are coming from as far away as upstate New York and Iowa. The show has definitely created a name for itself among farm toy enthusiasts across the United States.
“I’ve got a couple people coming to sell collections,” Baird said, noting that is exciting for people searching for highly sought-after farm toy collectibles.
There will be fun for all ages at the show, including a corn shell sandbox and nine pedal tractors for small children to ride for free.
The chapter will also be selling tickets for a chance to win a new Dodge Ram pickup truck. Proceeds will benefit the FFA. The truck will be given away and additional information will be available about the giveaway at the show.
The annual farm toy show takes place this Friday and Saturday at the high school. Friday hours are 6-9 p.m. and Saturday hours are 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, and children under 5 are admitted free. There will be door prizes and concessions.
For additional information, contact Baird at 477-3255 or 639-0138.