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Slideshow: This annual event in Lodi, Wis., features hundreds of collectible farm toys. This year’s show is set for March 12.

Harlen Persinger

February 22, 2023

7 Slides

Some people traveled many miles to cruise the cramped aisles in search of a precise replica from agricultural life years ago at last year’s Lodi FFA Alumni Association Farm Toy Show. For any nostalgic buff or toy connoisseur, the late winter show has 100 tables crowded with countless boxes of early model tractors, special editions and historical company names, some of which have faded away.

This year’s show is scheduled for March 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lodi Elementary School in Lodi, Wis.

Current members and those who graduated from the program rekindled the event, which began in the late 1990s, to raise funds for the school’s agriculture program, explain Darryl Buchanan and Kyle Kurt, toy show committee co-chairmen. The event helps foster FFA students’ development activities. Funds are also used to provide scholarships, trips to leadership conferences and overall support for those enrolled in the FFA program.

Glen Wipperfurth graduated from Lodi High School in 1989. He participated in FFA all four years and was elected chapter sentinel, vice president and president. During that time, he was involved with public speaking and livestock judging. He later served as chairman of the toy show for 19 years.

“Growing up, I was reserved, but taking on the challenge of speaking at regional contests was the most important nugget I received from FFA, because I gained confidence and became comfortable in front of other groups,” he says. “Over time, another bonus was the association shared with many other individuals.

“I feel there is considerable value in supporting this youth organization, because these young folks represent our future to help build rapport in the community since the general public has shown less interest in many aspects of agriculture.”

Persinger writes from Milwaukee.

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