Tractor Daze Serves Up Family-Friendly Fun

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GRIT Guest Blogger Brandy Ernzen hails from a small Kansas town, and is working to re-learn those wonderful country skills from her childhood. She’s also GRIT’s public relations manager.

As parents of an overly active, curious 3-year-old, we’re always looking for family-friendly activities. And, being a nerd, I like to throw in a little education when I can.

Mission: Tractor Daze at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame.

You couldn’t have asked for a more family-friendly event. Kids of all ages explored Ag Hall’s outdoor offerings on a beautiful summer Saturday, with plenty of room to roam. We rode the narrow-gauge Union Pacific train around the pond, then visited the hatchery, general store and train depot, all full of period artifacts.

In the blacksmith shop, we watched area residents Chris Dennis and Melvin Rice reshape a handle.

Over in the one-room schoolhouse (originally part of a local school district), the schoolmarm commanded respect from all who entered. Garrett is still saying, “We take our hats off!”

A friendly member of the Greater Kansas City 2-Cylinder Club let Garrett “drive” his antique John Deere. There were plenty of carefully restored tractors to appreciate, with local collectors displaying their Farmalls, Cases, Minneapolis-Molines, Caterpillars and John Deeres for the day.

At the top of the hill, Garrett watched his first tractor pull. Although he doesn’t really get it, he liked the tractors chugging down the run then having the clean-up crew flatten the ground afterward.

The garden tractor pull crowned its own champions across the way. With their custom paint jobs, who can resist those little guys?

We ended the day with another Garrett favorite – a hayride While we didn’t listen to the bands or take in the mud run, we packed in a full afternoon of seeing, doing and learning. Next year, maybe we’ll even tackle Ag Hall’s “inside” displays!

Bonus fact (I told you I’m a nerd): Did you know that Arthur Capper, founder of Capper’s, was inducted into the Hall of Fame?