Advertisement
Howard County Times
Howard County

Howard County Fair kicks off with Farmer Wars, a hay-stacking contest with police officers and firefighters as competitors

A friendly rivalry between Howard County’s firefighters and police officers took to a new venue this weekend with Farmer Wars, a contest introduced at the 76th annual Howard County Fair in West Friendship Sunday night.

The hay-stacking, tractor-driving event involved teams of three working together to load hay onto a wagon at the back of a tractor then driving the tractor through an obstacle course.

Advertisement

Team members with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services took an early lead during the race and won bragging rights by defeating a team from the Howard County Police Department during the inaugural race. The race between the fire and police departments kicked off a series of races between a number of other community teams.

Chris High, a firefighter and EMT for the department of fire and rescue services said the contest helped with team building among his colleagues.

Advertisement

“It’s always a rivalry in everything that we do between the police and the fire [departments], so this is a good way to [show] camaraderie,” High said.

Howard County Chief of Police Gregory Der said he participated in Farmer Wars as a way to connect with the community.

“These types of events let the community see us outside of our uniform and just as we are,” Der said. “It breaks down any barriers that they would have when they can see us in plain clothes and driving a tractor and stacking hay.”

Carefully weaving a tractor and wagon in and out of a series of tires laid out across the arena contestants backed into a space formed by orange cones where teammates unloaded hay while trying to not spill buckets of water attached to the back of the tractor.

Howard County Times: Top stories

Howard County Times: Top stories

Weekdays

Daily highlights from Howard County's number one source for local news.

Mickey Day, president of the Howard County Fair Association, said the contest was created to introduce agriculture to those who may not be familiar with it.

“We were looking at a way to educate the public in a fun way about agriculture and some of the things that farmers do on the farms,” he said. “Our goal here at the fair is to promote agriculture [to] those that may live in a more urban area that don’t have the opportunity to see farm stuff.”

Richard “Chick” Zimny, 95, of Ellicott City, who worked on a dairy farm in his youth, attended the contest with his niece.

Advertisement

He said Farmer Wars would help the community better understand what life is like on a farm.

“People who haven’t done any haying should understand what goes on,” he said. “This is work, but it’s a pleasure, too.”

The Howard County Fair continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds in West Friendship. For more information and a schedule of events, go to https://howardcountyfairmd.com/.


Advertisement