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Old Time Farm Day rebounds

Brianna Fenner is captivated by her new furry friend found at the petting zoo at Old Time Farm Day. Adorable animals to pet and opportunities to try their hands at milking cows, shucking corn, picking cotton and much more provided a fun and educational experience for youngsters and a nostalgic trip for oldsters. Organizers estimate it was their highest attendance in the history of OTFD. (Angie Long)

It’s too early to give an exact figure, but organizers of Old Time Farm Day 2010 are certain of one thing.

“This is the biggest event we’ve had yet,” said OTFD member Harold Turner.

“The weather was beautiful, the people turned out and we had a great time.”

After last year’s heavy rains put a damper both literally and figuratively on the event, this year’s OTFD came back under sunny skies and mild temperatures to give attendees a chance to enjoy old-fashioned country activities such as  “chawing” on sugar cane at Reeford Whittington’s cane mill, watching master blacksmith Neil Faulkenberry at work at his forge, riding on a mule-drawn wagon or trying one’s hand at milking a cow.

A large number of tractors from Fords to Farmalls and John Deeres to Massey Fergusons and lesser-known names were on display and many took part in the afternoon’s tractor parade.

“There are types of tractors and farming implements on display here I have never seen before; it’s pretty amazing,” said Rock Killough, retired musician and former “farm boy.”

“I used to ride on a John Deere just like that one over there. It’s what made me decide I needed to get off the farm,”  he added with a laugh.

Brianna Fenner was entranced with a friendly calico rabbit found at the petting zoo, which featured everything from slippery snakes and perky ferrets to exotic fowl in a rainbow of colors.

Humane Society booth volunteer Meredith Mann shook her head in wonderment at the collection of animals.

“When you see all this-how can you not believe there’s a God?” she said with a smile.

Young children climbed on board tractors to help steer as volunteers plowed the fields, while other youngsters romped in a wagon filled with cornhusks and grinned with delight as they turned the crank and shelled their first ear of corn.

On Friday, a number of local school children were able to visit the site and get their own hands-on experience of life down on the farm during the second annual School Day.

“We’re very, very pleased with how everything has gone. We’ve had a great turn out and folks seem to be having a good time, and that’s what it’s all about,” said OTFD member Carey Thompson