Farm chore relay: Contestants choose individual approach for race

Contestants choose individual approach for race

MICHAEL KELLY The Marietta Times Morgan McCoy, a Washington County Fair Board member, uses her smartphone to time Bailee Rech, 5, of Lowell in the farm chore relay Sunday afternoon at the Washington County Fair.

It wasn’t a large field of entries, but it was quality competition.

The farm chore relay on Sunday at the Washington County Fair drew four competitors, all in the under-18 category.

“We had about 20 yesterday, there aren’t so many people on the grounds today,” Morgan McCoy said. McCoy, a fair board member and volunteer, was in charge of the 5 p.m. event. “I think the winning time yesterday was 53 seconds. They can enter as teams, but all of them entered as singles.”

Travis Morris, a towering 13-year-old, decided to go for the over-18 course, which involves flipping a tractor tire, carrying two 5-gallon buckets of water, steering a four-foot wire spool around a figure-eight course, and carrying two square hay bales to a wheeled care and dropping them in.

Morris, who lives on a farm near New Matamoras, said it was an impulse entry.

“I was over at the concession stand, and just decided at 4:30 to do it,” he said.

He made easy work of the course, although steering the spool seemed a bit tricky, and snatched up a hay bale in each hand and dropped them into the cart to finish in 63 seconds.

The remaining contestants crowded around McCoy as she explained the course, then asked them to decide whether they wanted to enter as a team or individually. When she added that as individuals they’d each get prizes, but as a team they would have to split one, they all simultaneously backed away and announced they’d go it on their own.

Bailee Rech, 5, of Lowell, was studying the under 18-course intently. When asked her age she simply held up her right hand with all the digits spread, still eyeing the challenge, which involved a smaller cart tire, smaller buckets, and a wheelbarrow push. She did the course in 30 seconds.

Madi and Maci Zimmer, both 6 and both from Whipple, and as twins both wearing identical summer dresses, ran the course with the same determination but not the same times – Madi finished in 23 seconds, Maci in 19.

The twins have a family history with the fair, their mother, Nicole Zimmer said. The memorial tractor pull is named after their grandfather, and their dad had an entry in Sunday night’s tractor pull.

Lindsay Rech, Bailee’s mom, said she lives on the Rech Angus Farm, and children are never too young to start learning about the work of agriculture.

“Bailee does a lot around the farm,” she said.

McCoy, with some help from Morris, began cleaning up the course in Civitan Park and storing the basic props of the relay away.

She’s also in charge of the lamb and cattle shows, she said.

“It’s a lot of late nights, but it’s worth it,” she said. “It’s all for the kids.”