Perhaps rain won't be pounding down and driver's fingers won't be icy when the third annual FFA tractor drive heads down the road this spring. While the first two were held in late March, this drive will be held on April 18. Organizers decided to go with what should be a warmer day, hoping those who work in the field might still find a few hours to get away and enjoy the fellowship and fun of being part of such an event.
This year's drive will kick off form the Johnson County Park, next to Camp Atterbury in Johnson County, about 6 miles southwest of Franklin. The approximately 40-mile route will take drivers through parts of the park, Camp Atterbury, other local points of interest, with a visit for lunch and to see actual FFA members in action at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center.
Charlie Canary, Franklin, has driven in the first two drives, along with his son, John. He's helped select the route. "We want our drivers to learn something about the area while showing off their tractors, and getting a good ride in," he notes. "There's a lot of history in the area. We drove by some sites last year, but we intend to provide more detail to those who come to ride this year."
While many people bring out their best antique tractors for the ride, it's not a requirement. Canary drove an Allis that he farms with on the first drive two years ago. His father, Bill, rode an older Oliver utility tractor that still works on the farm in last year's event.
The purpose to two-fold- to raise money for the Indiana FFA Foundation, but also to make more people aware of the value of Indiana FFA. Organizers hope to make this year's ride more visible to the public, so that more people will know why riders are giving up a day, bringing their own tractors, and even donating money to participate in what they consider a worthwhile event.
Early bird registration is a $40 donation to ride, with you providing your own tractor. Deadline ends April 10. Afterwards, you can still come- the more the merrier- but for a $50 donation. The early count will help organizers work with county officials and police groups to ensure that the drive is safe and organized for those who participate.
Last year many residents lined the streets of one small community near Campo Atterbury, Nineveh, to view the tractors go by. Nineveh is only about three miles from the Indiana FFA Center. Organizers hope for more displays of interest like that this year, and will try to publicize the event locally in hopes of attracting that type of attention.
For more information, contact Brian Buchanan at [email protected] or call him at 317-919-2025. Or email Canary at: [email protected].