Who says Ag Day is just one day a year, or National Ag Week just one week a year? The Hartford City Rotary Club got an early start on ag week. They hosted their annual "invite a farmer night" on Monday, March 9.
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"We do this every year to show farmers we appreciate them and to celebrate together," says Rotary member Fred Walker, also a Hartford City farmer. His father, Charles Walker, 93, still active on the farm and an active participant in spring planting, was also at the meeting. Charles was named a Master Farmer in 1986.
More than 60 people gathered at the meeting, including at least 30 farmers. Those attending included both Harry and Joe Pearson, and Mark Townsend. Harry was the long-time Indiana Farm Bureau state president. Joe worked in state government for several years on ag issues. Mark operates a large hog operation, was named a Master Farmer in 2006, and is the son of Wayne Townsend, named a Master Farmer in 1989, and a former gubernatorial candidate. Also attending was Larry Tyler, a retired Extension ag educator.
The Rotary Club meets weekly, Fred Walker says, but hold this special event once a year. They moved to a larger location, and hire a well-known local cook to prepare this special meal. The farmers attend as guests of Rotary members.
This is just one of many events that go on to celebrate National Ag Day, whether it is in the third week of March, the second week of March or the last week of August. The goal is to help people who don't farm pay tribute and rub shoulders with those who produce their food and make it possible for them to live off the farm and have other jobs that contribute to the Indiana economy, Fred Walker says.
He says the Rotary will likely continue this tradition in Hartford City for many years to come.