Tales from the Past: Ag Venture barn premiers at the fair 2010

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Jul 31, 2018 at 1:00 PM

As Election Day looms and the Wilson County Fair approaches, I imagine the feel around town is much like that of 2010, when similar things were happening in Wilson County.

As I thumbed through our 2010 July-Aug. bound edition, one thing stood out above the rest: the premier of the Ag Venture barn. 

Each of my two years at the Wilson County Fair, I’ve discovered something wonderful as I wander around with my camera. My first year, I found a place away from the noise and hubbub in the Fiddlers Grove area. Last year, I stumbled upon the Ag Venture barn. 

I walked in to the barn near the orange gate to the scent of fresh hay and the sounds of children laughing. Various games like wooden checkers and “puffy stuff” were set up in the front area as a line of parents and children waited excitedly to enter full Ag Venture area.

Here, 4-H projects of all kinds filled the room. From plants in pants to a very large pig, children were able to interact with agriculture in many ways. There were plenty of animals to feed and touch as well as different farm-related activities. 

The article I found in the Aug. 14, 2010 edition, said the first Ag Venture event had nine hands-on stations, which allowed children to experience things like feeding a calf, harvesting crops and working with a mule. The story highlighted some local grandparents, Ron and Gail Purtee, of Lebanon, and their grandsons, Grayson, 9, and Caleb, 8.

“I was born and raised in Shop Springs,” said Gail of her southern upbringing. “This allows my grandchildren to connect what living in a rural area is all about. It’s not all about the rides. I want them to experience what I experienced. [Agriculture] is the heart of the county.”  

Those words certainly ring true still today. 

The Wilson County Fair has so much to offer everyone. With this year’s theme being mAGic memories, to celebrate the year of milk and farm life memories, the Ag Venture barn will be a must-see for families. 

If you don’t already know, the Wilson County Fair starts Aug. 17 and will be open every day until Aug. 25. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. The mega ticket, which includes a ride armband, is available until the start of the fair from local banks and the fair office for $25.  

There’s a new ride provider, a new beauty pageant and even a life-sized milking practice cow. Not to mention the contests, the fried delicacies, music competitions, demolition derbies, animal shows, tractor pulls and even sea lions. It would take a long time to list all that’s going on at the fair, so check them out online at wilsoncountyfair.net for the full schedule. 

I’ll see you out there. 

Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

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