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Dozens go for drive in country


About 100 people ventured into farm country Sunday afternoon, making many call the Rainy River Federation of Agriculture’s "Drive in the Country" farm tour a success.

Organizer Deb Cornell said attendance was up from last year’s tour and the feedback she’s been hearing has been very positive.

"Those participating seemed tickled," she said. "I was picking up signs at 5:30 and [Bujolds] still had wagon-loads of people touring around."

Cornell congratulated the farmers who hosted tour stops for planning interesting activities for their guests, ranging from a horseshoe scavenger hunt and a machine quiz to scarecrow making.

And it seems the farmers had as good a time as those on the tour.

"I talked to three out of five farmers [and] all were happy with the way things went," Cornell said. "Having the farmers participate and be pleased is important."

And they weren’t the only ones pleased. Fort Frances Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, along with his wife, Judy, and another couple, spent Sunday afternoon travelling from farm to farm.

"It was a great day," he said. "The things at each site were very well prepared. The highlight for my wife was the centre at Emo where she made a scarecrow."

For Mayor Witherspoon, who lived north of Devlin until he was 15, the tour also gave him a chance to check out his old stomping grounds.

And he really appreciated the effort the farmers at each stop made to share what part of agriculture they were involved in.

"I’d recommend more people go," he said. "Not only is it a different type of day but it’s a day you can learn something about your district.

"It was very informative."

Those who helped organize the tour will be meeting in the next week or so to discuss future tours and possible changes, Cornell said.

"What we talked about initially is doing a spring tour in ’99, visiting farm babies. But that’s not to say there won’t be anything next year," she said.

"We may have found we need fewer farms," she added. "People had trouble doing five stops [because] there was so much to do."

The most rewarding experience perhaps came from the sharing of information, Cornell said, and learning to communicate with each other.

"It’s hard to talk to people who have to learn [farming] from scratch," she noted. "There’s a great gap between consumer knowledge and what is done every day on the farm."

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