Weather threatens but cooperates for Franklin County field day
By Ray Bowman
(A version if this article first appeared in The Farmer’s Pride, July 20 issue)
Heavy clouds hung over the Steve Thornton family farm on Mt. Zion Road on the morning of the 59th Annual Franklin County Farm-City Field Day. Thunderstorms had rolled through the area earlier that morning and the threat of more showers persisted, yet the weather conditions seemed to have little impact on the attendance and enthusiasm for the event.
Volunteers hustled to restock the wagons that would transport visitors with fresh, dry straw bales as tractors lined up to pull the wagons to the starting point of the tour.
As the tractors started rolling, urban and rural attendees alike were ferried to several instructional stops that addressed gardening and vegetable diseases, hay storage, forage management and invasive plant species identification and control.
The tour wound its way across the farm to a small tent city set up to serve lunch, including rib-eye sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. Kentucky Dawgs, the brainchild of Henry County farmer and entrepreneur David Neville were also available for sampling. This unique Kentucky Proud product is a beef sausage flavored and textured with oils and hearts (shelled seeds) from hemp, the Commonwealth’s newest
experimental crop. The Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association grilled the steaks and additional entrees and side items were provided by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4075 and other donations.
Following the meal, local dignitaries thanked the crowd for their perseverance in light of the questionable weather. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles welcomed everyone saying that much of his youth was spent with family on farms in Franklin County. He also focused on the importance of bringing city-dwelling friends and family out to the farm, whether it be this type of event or other opportunities.
“It’s a chance to inform people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to see, first hand, where their food comes from,” Quarles noted.
Farm-City Field Day is presented by UK Cooperative Extension, the Frankfort/Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin County Conservation District and Franklin County Farm Bureau. It is made possible by the help of 125 volunteers and more than 30 groups and business that donate money or services.
For the most part, the event enjoyed a respite from the rain, but as visitors were transported back to their vehicles, the clouds began to regroup for another round of afternoon showers.