One of the features at the 16th annual Day on the Farm Saturday, Aug. 18, will be a new event: the WillowSpring Downs Derby.
This stick-horse race will probably be most appealing to children, but adults with an expertise in riding stick horses are welcome to compete.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own stick horses. Additional ones will be available, although event organizers are not guaranteeing the speed or stamina of those steeds.
Women and girls who come to watch the derby are also encouraged to wear “Derby hats.”
Day on the Farm is an activity for families, especially grandparents and grandchildren, held on the Duerksen/Knepp farm northeast of Goessel from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Derby races will be run at 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m., while other activities run continuously. Children can try their hand at catching a pig, milking a goat, making a rope or roping a plastic “steer.”
They also can ride horses, wagons and pony carts, interact with farm animals, climb through a hay-bale maze and take home their own Agri-Urban brand on a piece of wood.
Day on the Farm usually draws between 400 and 500 people. While one of its purposes is family fun, the underlying goal is to build connections between rural and urban families, with a secondary benefit of helping children from towns and cities connect with the rural upbringing of many of their grandparents.
A free lunch will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m. Participants are invited to donate to Mennonite Agri-Urban Inc., the event sponsor.
Agri-Urban began in 1972 to allow farmers and cattle feeders to donate labor, facilities and cattle feed or pasture, while urban dwellers contributed money to buy animals and feed.
Profits from the sale of the cattle go to the Western District Conference, Mennonite Church USA and Bethel College. Some proceeds are reinvested in Agri-Urban.
The Duerksen/Knepp farm is located at 1582 Falcon. From Goessel, it is 3 miles north, 4 miles east, and ¾ miles north; from Hillsboro, it is 4 miles south on Indigo, 3 west and ¾ north.
For more information call 316-283-6300 or 620-386-0709.