April 25, 2010
As the blossoms start to bloom and the grass starts to grow in Southwestern Michigan, The Berrien County Farm Bureau Young Farmers are planting seeds to celebrate Southwest Michigan's large diversity of agricultural production and to "Mowtivate" the public to support Michigan's second largest industry with the 1st annual Fruit Belt Bushel and 1/9th Lawn Mower Race.
The Berrien County Farm Bureau Young Farmers will host the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association and its' STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing Series Saturday, May 15, 6:00pm and Sunday, May 16, 1:00pm at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds, 9122 N. US 31, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Admission is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children 12 and under.
Tickets are on sale at the Berrien County Farm Bureau office at 8383 Edgewood Road, Berrien Springs or at the door. All proceeds will fund an educational grant that will promote agriculture in the classroom. Berrien County Young Farmers and more than 24 local event sponsors are committed to the need to educate youth on Michigan's 2nd largest industry and the farm to fork process.
"Agriculture contributes over $71 billion annually to Michigan's economy. There are over 56,000 farms in our state, and of the states in our nation, Michigan ranks second only to California in the diversity of crops produced" says Karah Leitz, Co-Chair of Berrien County Farm Bureau Young Farmers. "We feel it's important to educate children in Berrien County about this vital part of our state's economy. Berrien County Farm Bureau Young Farmers consists of men and women between the ages of 18-35 who are involved in agricultural or agricultural support industries. The objective of the Young Farmers program is to provide leadership in building a more effective Farm Bureau to preserve individual freedoms and expand opportunities in agriculture."
"Have you ever seen a lawn mower race around a dirt track at 60mph?" says Melissa Morlock, of the Berrien County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and USLMRA Local Race Coordinator. "We are excited to bring the nations' best lawn mower racers to our community for two days of real 'grass roots' racing."
The U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association sanctions and presents organized lawn mower racing across America. This includes the 18-race STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing Series with a network of 45 Local Chapters and Affiliated Clubs hosting more than 140 sanctioned races nationwide. The Fruit Belt Bushel & 1/9th Lawn Mower Race is a part of the USLMRA National Series. Lawn Mowers race in four road course classes with all cutting blades removed: Juniors (15mph), IMOW (20mph), Prepared (50 mph), and Factory Experimental (60mph).
Sod Slingers from across the state of Michigan are expected to compete including members of the Michigan Lawn Mower Racing Association, Rough Riders Lawn Mower Racing Club (Lansing), Mid Michigan Outlaw Lawnmower Racing Club (Onondaga), Hipolite Mower Speedway and Sod Sharks (Eagle) and the Ithaca Dirt Devils (Ithaca).
As area residents enjoy the smells of blossoms and start to bring out their own lawn mowers, the Berrien County Farm Bureau Young Farmers anticipate that folks will take a moment to come be a spectator as the Turf Titians of the U.S Lawn Mower Racing Association answer the question: "How fast can a lawn mower really go?"
For mow information visit www.letsmow.com or call (269) 473-4701
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