The Mowrystown FFA and FFA Alumni are hosting the Southwestern Ohio Farm Toy Collector Club Farm Toy Show on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Whiteoak High School in Mowrystown.
Admission is $3 per person and includes one entry in a raffle for a toy tractor.
The FFA is collecting canned food for Samaritan Outreach Services, and visitors will receive one additional entry into the raffle for each can of food they donate.
Whiteoak FFA Advisor Brian DeAtley told The Times-Gazette the show usually has about 70 tables of farm toy-related merchandise for purchase, and some vendors will buy and trade as well.
Whiteoak FFA Alumni Vice President and Southwestern Ohio Farm Toy Collector Club Vice President Gary Arledge said some of these vendors come from Indiana, Kentucky and Northern Ohio.
The FFA will have food, including donuts and coffee in the morning and burgers in the afternoon, available for purchase. There will also be a coloring station and other activities for younger kids.
There’s also a little friendly competition, DeAtley said.
“We have several adults and kids who set up displays,” DeAtley said. “Some of them are really elaborate. We have one gentleman who has basically recreated his boyhood home. He has the house, the barn and the equipment his father had.”
Visitors can vote for their favorite adult and youth displays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Awards will be presented for first and second place in the adult division, and first, second and third place in the youth division.
According to Arledge, the show was originally one of two shows hosted by the Southwestern Ohio Farm Toy Collector Club before it was taken over by the Mowrystown FFA, though club members still support the show by visiting, helping set up, and selling items as vendors.
DeAtley said the FFA and FFA Alumni took it over around five or six years ago, and the money raised through the event helps FFA students attend ag-related events.
“It’s one of the biggest fundraisers we have with our alumni,” DeAtley said. “This weekend we’re going to the National Farm Machinery Show down in Louisville. The alumni helps the kids out with the price of admission from events like the tractor pulls. This summer, we’ll go to FFA Camp and watch the leadership conference, and the alumni always give scholarships for that.”
Arledge said these events are valuable to students’ growth.
“They build character and leadership skills, which is the biggie,” Arledge said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re going into ag or medicine — the skills they learn at those events are going to be used throughout their lives.”
The Southwestern Ohio Farm Toy Collector Club Farm Toy Show, though, helps multiple generations, Arledge said.
“It’s nice for the younger generation to have some contact with these older fellows, the folks who have been through it and can relate their life experiences to it. It’s good for the older guys to have contact with the younger generation to see what they’re going through and what they’re learning and the things they have to prepare for,” Arledge said. “It’s just a good match to put them together.”
Vendors and those who would like to participate in the display competition should call Arledge at 937-763-2714, Milt Simmons at 937-763-8805 or DeAtley at 937-763-0169.
Vendors and those participating in the competition can begin setting their displays up as early as 6 a.m.
Anyone, collector or otherwise, who is interested in joining the Southwestern Ohio Toy Collector Club is welcome to attend their monthly meetings, which are held in The Times-Gazette Community Room on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.