Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 14, 2012

A flair for the fair

TAHLEQUAH — The county fair is about time-honored traditions, when rural practices like raising beef, growing vegetables, preserving food or stitching a quilt are honored and put on display for others to see.

It’s also customary to determine the county’s best tractor operator. Thursday kicked off the annual Cherokee County Fair, and contestants in two age divisions tested their skills at pulling a seeder with a tractor diagonally through a course line with orange-street cones.

The fair runs through Saturday at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, just across from the Cherokee Casino on U.S. Highway 62.

Contest supervisor and Keys School vo-ag teacher Darrell Hood said the contestants have seven minutes to drive the tractor and seeder attachment through an S-shaped course of cones. Deductions are made for mistakes like hitting a cone, jackknifing the tractor and equipment, and grinding the gears.

“We make sure they know how to start the tractor, put it in drive, and all that stuff, and operate it safely through the course,” Hood said. “Every time they change directions or get out of line with the cones, it’s a deduction. And it’s timed. Back when I did it, they’d find a gate and you’d just kind of back in between it or something. This is actually how they do it at the Tulsa State Fair. The only thing is we don’t have a four-wheel wagon, and if you can’t back up a four-wheel wagon, there’s no sense in going. I can’t even back up a four-wheel wagon. It’s like putting a little red wagon on your lawnmower and trying to back it up.”

There are two age divisions: a junior division for ages 12-13, and a senior division for ages 14-19.  

Keys junior Maegen Wallace, who competed in the senior division, stressed that driving a tractor isn’t as easy as riding a bike.

“Everybody thinks it’s easy to drive a tractor, but it’s really a lot more difficult than you think,” she said. “You have to drive it through here at angle and then you have to back it back through the same way. I can do a truck and trailer, but a tractor’s a lot different. You’ve got to weave it around, and you have to pay attention to where the [seeder’s] going. You get once chance, and you’ve got to do it without hitting any cones.”

Peggs seventh-grader Denton Halpain competed in the junior division, and came in with a lot of experience driving tractors.

“I drive a tractor every summer,” he said, noting the process of backing equipment as the hardest skill to learn.

Halpain’s example is a rare one for today’s generation, as most learn how to drive on something other than a tractor, said County Extension 4-H Educator Carl Wallace.

“Back in the day per say, every kid, when he was 6, 7 or 8 years old, was on the back of a tractor, trying to drive it. Nowadays, it’s a lot different,” Wallace said. “For a lot of kids, the first time they ever get behind something to drive it may be a four-wheeler or something along that line. But to drive a tractor is not what it once was for kids. It’ll be a challenge for some. You don’t really see someone just jump in there and whiz in and whiz out. It takes some practice to do that.”

Keys freshman Adison Hood agreed with Wallace that driving a tractor is a real test of ability.

“All of it [is a challenge], but backing up mostly,” she said. “It’s the hand-eye coordination. You have to really watch what you’re doing.”

The contest was Trevor Bailey’s first county fair outing, and he said the biggest difference in pulling a trailer in a contest like Thursday’s is the in the action the equipment makes.

“I don’t think it’s like a normal trailer,” he said. “It’s got like a swivel in it and it makes it harder to turn. When you turn with a normal trailer, it’s a different direction than this one.”

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Stocks