FRESNO -- Rural Life Sunday celebrating "Farm Life" took place Sept. 8 at the Fresno United Methodist Church with Pastor Kathy Powers officiating.
The outdoor worship service began at 10 a.m. in the Fresno Park shelter with 115 in attendance. The setting for the outdoor worship service included straw bales with wooden crosses, mums, pumpkins and fall decorations. During the welcome every man and woman who brought, the make and model as well as what they used their vehicle for on the farm.
Special music was Rod Bradford who same "Farmer's Blues." Other special music was "Thank You Farmers." The song was written by Janet Miller and sung by Kialeigh, Joselyn, Jaydeigh and Sammy Miller. Throughout the program, a tribute to farmers called, "So God Make a Farmer," was read by Connie Reidenbaugh as a tribute to her Dad, James Shroyer. The reading, "I'm Just a Farmer Plain and Simple," was read by Dean Wyler. The message for the day was entitled," How Real is Our Faith," given by Nate McNeal, former Agriculture Education teacher at Ridgewood High School. Other hymns that were sung were, "This is my Father's World," "For the Beauty of the Earth," and the closing hymn was very appropriate, "How Great Thou Art."
The outdoor service was followed by a covered dish; people sat at picnic tables outside and enjoyed the music and singing of Rod Bradford on his guitar.
At 1 p.m., a children's pedal tractor pull took place and was sponsored by Brian Powell and the Ridgewood Young Farmers.
There were five weight classes and approximately 18 children participated.
The first class pulling was 30 to 45 pounds, and the winner was Lorren Wentz.
The second class was 46 to 60 pounds and the winner was Alana Shroyer. The third class was 61 to 75 pounds and the winner was Kialeigh Miller. The fourth class was 76 to 90 pounds and the winner was Jeremy Tidwell, and the fifth class was 91 to 105 pounds and the winner was Lane Huff. Trophies were awarded to first place winners and sponsored by Brian Darr Farms, Wylerview Farms, Shot Gun Pulling Team, and Jim Shroyer, woodworking. Following the kiddie pull, 18 adults peddled various little tractors and Brian Powell and Jay Reidenbach made full pulls with their respective tractors. This was a sight to be seen.
Throughout the afternoon, there was a petting zoo by the Ridgewood FFA, watermelon eating contest won by Jeremy Tidwell, Jarred Lindig and Marilyn Wyler. There were cake walks, cornhole toss, horse shoes, plenty of refreshments including popcorn, snowcones and homemade ice cream and cakes, cookies, chips and pretzels. During the afternoon, there was a basketball shoot to "Stamp Out Malaria." There was $160 raised for this mission project.
There were more than 135 persons in attendance in the afternoon.
The grand finale was the tractor parade and hayride. There were 22 tractors, four-wheel drive vehicles, antique tractors, lawn mowers and a golf cart making a grand total of 28 that lined the fence of the shelter house. Also included was a hay wagon which was filled with people for the hay ride.