If you like farming and travel, you will love farm layouts that are part of some of the farm toy shows that are rife all over this winter.
I must say, farm layouts are probably my favorite part of the National Farm Toy Show. Every year I love to go and see what the designers have come up with. My favorites over the year have varied from a grain elevator to a cotton scene, to a steam engine, to a water scene this year. The talent it takes to create these amazing scenes is mind boggling and I am glad I just write about them, and don’t judge them. Each year I write about the youth farm layouts for Toy Farmer and this year there were some stellar layouts and some fun young men and a cool young lady I was honored to visit with.
The first place winner this year was Tyler Hamilton is a 14 year old 8th grader from Honey Creek Middle School in Terri Haute, Indiana. Tyler won first place in the youth farm layout contest at the National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville, Iowa. “I started doing layouts when I was ten,” Tyler said. “I started making them for 4H and that’s where I gained knowledge, from 4H and from Toy Farmer.”
“This is my first time at the National Farm Toy Show,” Tyler added. “I came to the summer show, but have never been to the National one before.”
A farm boy, Tyler said he lives on a 2,300 acre row-crop farm where they grown corn and soybeans. Using his home farm as a basis for his layout, Tyler called his award winning farm simply, Hamilton Farms. On his farm, Tyler planted corn and tilled the soil as well as having a cattle section.
Dawson Roberts of Mobile, Alabama won second place in the youth layout with his educational display. Dawson, a 14-year-old ninth grader at St. Luke’s Episcopal School has been creating layouts for the past three and a half years. Dawson credits Toy Farmer with his inspiration and ideas on how to create his display.
“My first layout was a fall tillage scene with a barn and a house,” Dawson said. This display was on hand at the Dyersville summer show where he won best of show.
His award winning display at the National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville, many miles from his Alabama home, was a 600 row-crop farm where they were produce peanuts, cotton and watermelon.
“They will do little soybeans after watermelons,” Dawson said. “On our farm, we plant a little of everything.”
Dawson’s display parallels real life for this high school freshman. “Last year Dawson custom planted 100 acres of peanuts on his own,” his dad Brian said.
Nick Schlief and his family live in Thompson, North Dakota. This 7th grader, that turned 13 right after Thanksgiving, has a lot to be thankful for. One of those things is winning 3rd place in the youth category. “My grandpa has a farm and he grows corn and soybeans. Mike our friend has a farm and that is what this display is based on.”
“This farm is harvesting wheat and baling hay for the cows,” Nick said. His amazing wheat caught the eye of many as they looked over the golden wheat harvest scene. Besides wheat harvest, this busy farm also has an alfalfa field that is being cut. The alfalfa harvest is taking place in three stages. Nick said Stage I is where a New Holland 220 windrower/ swather is making hay rows. “A couple of days later the New Holland 8.330 is pulling a windrow and making two windrows into one.”
That was Stage II, then the New Holland tractor and baler comes in and makes round bales of hay, this is Stage III.
Hope Cassetty who is from Rockfield, Kentucky created a Longhorn Cattle display at the National Farm Toy Show was the only girl in the competition. She said about her farm, “It’s based on a farm in Western Kentucky,” said Hope.
Hope is a 13-year-old 8th grader that goes to Auburn and Logan County School. “I live near a bunch of farms,” Hope said.
“This is my first layout ever,” Hope said. While it is her first show, she said that her dad, Matt Cassetty has been part of farm toy shows for the last 15 or so years so she has grown up with the hobby.
If you want to see some marvelous farm layouts this February, check out the Gateway Farm Toy Show in St. Louis at Westport Plaza. It takes place the first weekend of the month!