In honor of the Carroll County Farm Museum's 50th anniversary, museum staff and volunteers have created an interactive Farming: Then and Now exhibit.
The exhibit will be on display during the organization's annual Fall Harvest Days taking place Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16 on the museum's grounds.
The idea for the exhibit came from Scott Carr, of Westminster, who has volunteered at the Farm Museum for more than 40 years.
"I was on the Farm Museum board about 20 years ago and tried to get it done then, but we didn't," Carr said. "When they formed the 50th anniversary committee, they threw me right in charge. I've been very fortunate to be able to find five pieces of equipment [to display; there will also be equipment from the museum's grounds]."
Carr said each piece of equipment will have someone next to it to explain how the machine was operated and the time period in which it was used.
"It's going to be educational for not only children but for half of the people under 50 years old who don't know how it's advanced," Carr said.
Carr said the exhibit features a sickle and cradle, a reaper, a binder, a threshing machine, a pull-type all crop combine, an open station self-propelled combine, and a John Deere 30-foot combine. The exhibit will also include a combine simulator cab where "people can sit and see the working combine."
"I'm excited about it all. I have seen it all in operation," Carr said. "This is the harvest season, and as far as I'm concerned, it's a very important factor for people to know how things were from the late 1700s until now."
Museum curator Stefanie Strosnider Basalik said the exhibit is fitting for Fall Harvest Days because "agriculture has changed so much over time."
"We were very interested in having visitors look at the machinery and speak with people who have a knowledge of farming practices," Strosnider Basalik said. "Because this is the farm museum's 50th anniversary, we want to encourage people to actually explore why the farm museum and farming is still relevant."
"Most people don't have an idea of where their food is produced. This gives them a better understanding of agriculture as a whole," Strosnider Basalik said. "We're focusing on how agriculture has changed, developed and evolved. Technology has a lot to do with that."
According to museum manager Joanne Weant, Maryland's Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder will be the grand marshal of the Fall Harvest Days parade. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the County Office building.
"We expect a good turnout for the parade and the event," Weant said. "For at least a decade, we were the only Fall Harvest festival in the county. Now people can attend all sorts of different harvest festivals. Our main draw at the museum is to offer people a chance to look at historic equipment, trades and activities. We give people a window into the past."
Weant said admission to Fall Harvest Days is free this year to celebrate the organization's 50th anniversary. The event will include a car show, artisan demonstrations, a children's costume contest, a make-your-own scarecrow tent, pumpkin painting, live entertainment, tractor rides and more.
"We're happy we located a number of artisans this year who will demonstrate a variety of trades and activities," Weant said. "Our whole goal this year was to mark the 50th anniversary with activities and events that are in keeping with our mission of promoting, preserving and educating the public about agriculture."
If you go
What: Fall Harvest Days
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16
Where: Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster
Cost: Free admission. Charge for some activities, food and drink.
For more information: Call 800-654-4645.