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CCF adds farm gadgets to show list

By Staff | Sep 18, 2015

-Farm News photo by Larry Kershner THREE OF THE LARGE farm gadget entries include a snow and mud mover, foreground; a sheep feed bunk and a welding table. All entries in the farm gadget show have to be comprised primarily from parts available on the farm.



SPENCER – It was a first attempt at a new show.

And although there were just about a dozen entries in the farm gadget competition this year at the Clay County Fair, the show superintendent said she thinks it has the potential to be a large show and popular attraction within the next few years.

Karen Schwaller, of Milford, who oversees the farm gadget category, said visitors entering the fair’s Innovation Pavilion, in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, take time to look over the creations of farmers who needed a tool, and found the parts lying around their farms to assist with chores.

-Farm News photo by Larry Kershner KAREN SCHWALLER, superintendent of the farm gadget show, models a manually-operated electric fence wire winder that was entered in the first farm gadget show.

“I’m impressed by the worksmanship,” Schwaller said, “and with the hours spent in making what a farmer needed with parts around the farm.”

Most of the devices required welding or carpentry skills.

Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 were given following judging of the entries, which was held Sept. 11.

Schwaller said future shows will include classes in large and small entries.

There is an adult division and youth division. Next year, group entries such as FFA chapters and 4-H clubs will be included.

The largest entry this year was a snow and mud mover, using repurposed tractor track as a scraping blade, submitted by Ben Clifford, of Milford.

He designed an adapter for his Caterpillar 277 skid loader. The adapter was assembled by a local welding shop.

Another was a sheep feed bunk, entered by Rodney Boernsen, of Everly.

Boernsen said he needed a couple bunks for his ewes. He cut the centerpiece that tile lines are rolled onto lengthwise as the feed tray. Using lumber salvaged from a corn crib, he made a bunk that is 7 feet long and 20 inches tall.

“It’s just tall enough that the sheep don’t try to step into it,” he said, “but they can reach the bottom.”

A pair of drilled holes drain water after a rain. He rounded the corners of the 2-by-4-foot sides to protect the ewe’s necks.

His cost?

“Nothing, just a little time and old lumber,” Boernsen said. “The screws I used were left over from a machine shed we build several years ago.”

Other entries included:

  • A socket extension support to assist with loosening and tightening bolts on the axle duals of a tractor.
  • A livestock chore belt, repurposed from a carpenter’s utility belt that includes a syringe holder, and pockets for needles, paint marker, medicine bottles, animal puller and assortment of small hand tools.
  • A post puller.
  • An oil filter puller.
  • An electric fence wire winder, which was made from farm scrap during the 1970s.

To get information for entering a farm gadget in the 2016 Clay County Fair visit claycountyfair.com and click on competitions, then scroll down and click on the farm gadget show.

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