FRANKLIN, Ind. — While strict restrictions and regulations were put in place earlier this year to help slow the spread of COVID-19, several counties throughout the state are still holding modified county fairs.
One of those is Johnson County, which recently held its annual tractor driving contest.
“I believe that the tractor operating contest helps to teach 4-H members valuable skills in operating a small agricultural tractor or lawn and garden mower,” said Amy Spurgeon, who serves as a program assistant with Purdue Extension in Johnson County.
Spurgeon said that 4-H members who compete in the tractor contest learn how to safely operate equipment while also completing an obstacle course designed to help mimic real world conditions.
“For example, the ag tractor course includes a barn area and backing around other obstacles,” Spurgeon said.
4-H members who choose to compete in the lawn and garden course have to maneuver their way around an arched area in the course that is meant to resemble driving along a flowerbed.
Spurgeon said 4-H members, who have the opportunity to drive in more than one course, have to be aware that both course areas change slightly so that as a member gets older and continues to compete and gain experience driving, the challenges on the course will continue to increase in difficulty.
“They also learn to identify the parts of the equipment and some basic information about the mechanics,” Spurgeon said.