Ag Museum Offers Much To See

tractor driving lesson

Tractor driving lessons with Matt Halabura, left, from the Ag Museum with PA State Rep. Jerry Knowles.

The Ag Museum at the Fair has a number of attractions to interest the whole family. In its 21st year, the Schuylkill County Agricultural Museum’s mission is to preserve the history of local agriculture through many diverse means. Since the Ag Museum is 21 years old that makes them legal, but not antique until they are at least 25. The museum offers self-guided tours, exhibits operating antique farm machinery, equipment, engines, woodworking tools, a sawmill and household appliances.

A chalk board at the welcome area lists the schedule of the day’s events. Sure to be listed is a small agricultural equipment operation demonstration with the hit and miss engines. Speaking of demonstrations there are the milling of wood in the saw mill area. Also outside the Ag Museum and listed on the chalk board is Todd Gladfelter using his chain saw to carve wood into intricate designs. Todd is a blacksmith artist, chainsaw carver, woodworker, cabinetmaker, man of the earth and his work can be seen on line at www.redmountainarts.com. You can see Todd in action daily at 5:30.

Not to be missed and listed daily on the chalk board is the Bessemer hit-n-miss engine. A working piece of history, this engine was used on to provide energy to factories in 1800 and early 1900. Inclusive with the engines and tractors are the People Choice Awards where the public may vote on their favorite tractor.

At the Ag Museum track there will be two Truck Pulls. In its fifth year as promised last year that the Truck Pulls would be bigger and better for 2015 and they are. A new sled should make the competition more exciting. Diesel Trucks are pulling on Monday, July 27 at 7PM. and Tuesday, July 28 at 7PM the Gas Trucks are pulling. Truck registration for both pulls begins at 4PM both days. . On Monday July 27 during the Diesel Truck Pulls there will be Side By Side Drag Racing of that black smoke, gear grinding diesel trucks.

Tuesday’s Pulls will see the Gas Trucks in action. Also in action will be the Semi-Trucks and 466 Hot Farm Tractors of Lucas Oil Pro Pulling Series. Saturday, August 1 will be the time set aside for the Antique Tractors to pull. For details on the Pulls see www.schuylkillfair.com.

The Ag Museum operates the Tractor Parade daily. See the tractors as they meander through the fairgrounds displaying the theme of the day. On Kid’s Day the Ag Museum operates the Pedal Tractor pull at 5:30PM. So kids, strengthen those leg muscles for the Pedal Tractor pull on Tuesday, July 28. Also on Kids Day, if you stop by the Ag museum you might get a lesson how a fly wheel works while you make one out of a can for yourself and take it home. It is a fun toy to remember the Ag Museum. Make a barn out of paper bag and place all your papers from the Ag Detective Activities inside your barn. There will also be baking demonstrations done by Rebecca Manley using the wood fire open hearth baking oven.

Wednesday evening, July 29 should be a lot of fun on the Ag Museum tract as there will be a Celebrity Tractor Pulling Competition. Come cheer on local noted individuals “outstanding in their field” attempt to sit in the driver seat of the tractors and push the throttle forward. Who will end up being the winner is anyone’s guess; could be the person with the heaviest hand or is that a lead foot. This was such a great attraction last year with many eager participants that the Ag Museum has agreed to bring it back again this year.

Thursday and Friday, July 31 and August 1 the Ag Museum will be demonstrating their antique threshing machine and bailer on the midway at 5PM.

On Saturday, August 1, Family Fun Day, the Ag Museum will be having their Antique Tractor Pull. Registration for this event begins at 11AM with the pulls starting at 1PM. Rebecca Manley will be demonstrating on this day the art of baking in an open hearth wood fired oven. The Ag Museum is an interactive experience. For more information on the Ag Museum and other events going on at the Schuylkill county Fair visit our website at www.schuylkillfair.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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