By NR Staff • 

Field of rivals

News-Register file photoGene Courtney leads his plow team at last year’s Farm Fest. The annual event includes a plowing competition, demonstrations, food, music and other activities at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center.

The annual event — which includes grain planting with vintage equipment, displays, music, food and activities in addition to the plowing competition — will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13. The center is located on Highway 18 at Durham Lane, just west of McMinnville.

Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 12 and younger.

Farm Fest started in 2007 as a way to not only remember, but relive, the agricultural practices used by earlier residents of Yamhill County. It became a popular annual tradition that brings out hundreds of spectators to watch horses, mules and vintage powered tractors till the soil and plant oats, which will be harvested by traditional methods at a companion festival, Harvest Fest, in August.

The draft horse competition became part of Farm Fest several years ago. The Oregon Draft Horse Breeders Association joined in, and the competition has grown each year with Shires, Belgians, Percherons, Clydesdales, Haflingers and other breeds represented. This year, competition will wind up at 3:30 p.m. with an award presentation.

In addition to seeing plowing all day, Farm Fest visitors can watch demonstrations of an old-time sawmill, see a traditional blacksmith at work and view static displays of farm equipment. Activities will start at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony and flag raising by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Heritage Center will be open for tours. Visitors can look at a one-room schoolhouse circa the 1860s and see Yamhill County Historical Society collections from many decades. A pioneer kids’ area will offer hands-on activities.

Fifty quilts from the YCHS collection will be on display. Quilters, lacemakers and spinners will demonstrate their craft

Visitors can tell their own story on videotape and take home a copy on DVD.

Old-time music will be playing all day. The schedule is as follows:

n 10:30 a.m. to noon, old-time country.

n Noon to 12:45, Orchard Mountain String Band with Southern Appalachian string band music.

n 12:45 to 1:30 p.m., Kory Knutz on piano.

n 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Yamhillbillies, featuring Rob Higgins, Joel Kiff, David Sumner and David and Julie Seipmann.

For more information, call 503-434-0490 or check the website at

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