Ag Night Antique Tractor & Car Show

2017 Antique Tractor & Car Show

2016 Antique Tractor & Car Show

Program Area: Member Services (MS)
County Farm Bureau: Lancaster County Farm Bureau
Year: 2016
Phone: (402) 310-0263
Program Description:

The continued increasing shift in population from rural to urban centers creates the increasing NEED to educate people in the urban centers about the importance of agriculture in their lives. While the school system would be the likely avenue to reach and educate young people, it is a very difficult task to add agriculture awareness and education into a very prescribed K-12 curriculum in most urban school systems. This creates the need to look to other creative, innovative channels to educate the public of all ages. The county Farm Bureau realized these needs and set the GOAL to provide agriculture awareness/education to the urban public through a major event.


The OBJECTIVES for the event included: 1) event held in an innovative, high exposure location, 2) be unique/creative to attract media, 3) be of interest to both adults and children, and 4) provide for interactive conversations about agriculture.


Once the goals and objectives were determined the CFB brainstormed on options for the specific event.


On June 15, 2016, the county Farm Bureau president presented the idea of a car show and suggested it could be held in the CFB office parking lot. The idea was pitched to the CFB and the county insurance agent the following night and planning began immediately. The CFB decided to host the event in a historic district in the state's second largest city for maximum impact. To garner participation from a wide audience, the CFB welcomed both antique tractors and classic cars in the show. Due to the quick timeline, tasks were divided between board members and the county insurance agent for the pre-event details. The insurance agent purchased event insurance, obtained the relevant city permit, and secured approval and support local businesses in the historic district. The CFB members completed the marketing plan (to source the tractors/cars and to advertise the event), prepared a budget, and developed a media strategy in coordination with the state Farm Bureau office.


The board members and county agent worked together to recruit show participants and volunteers for the event. Individual tasks were assigned and the board only met one other time to plan the August 17, 2016, event.


This event came together very quickly and in a collaborative effort between the CFB and county insurance agent. Individuals took responsibility for specific tasks, and the CFB and county insurance agent utilized Office365 to stay in constant communication during the event planning process. The CFB used email to implement the marketing plan. The first email communication was sent in early August asking Farm Bureau members to participate in the show. Another email (one week out) was sent inviting Farm Bureau members to attend the show. The CFB created two event flyers -- one sourcing tractors & cars and one advertising the event. The flyers were distributed within an hour radius of the event location. The CFB contacted local tractor and car clubs to explain the event and objectives. A local Model A and Antique Tractor Club invited all their members and volunteered their time for the event. The CFB also utilized the state Farm Bureau's social media to advertise the event. Major news outlets as well as community television, radio, and newspapers in the county received a media advisory prior to the event.


All tractor and car exhibitors pre-registered and provided the make, model, and year of the vehicle. The CFB used the information to connect the era of the vehicle with Ag Facts for the time period. The Ag Facts were printed on small sign boards and displayed next to the cars and tractors. The day of the event, tractors and cars were staged on one street and then paraded across the street so the public could see the tractors and cars in operation. This also allowed pedestrians & bystanders to hear the unique sounds of a Model A tractor and a Model A car roaring down the busy street. Many participants drove tractors in from more than 20-miles away and Model A's from even further. Every vehicle on display was operational and drove in to start the show and away to end the show. CFB volunteers hung two sets of AFBF livestock banners on sidewalk railings and set up access to three "My American Farm" stations. CFB volunteers distributed Ag Fact Cards, Farm Bureau material, and promotional information from the local surrounding businesses during the event.


The Antique Tractor & Car Show was the first of its kind in the state. This show was not your typical tractor show that takes place in a rural field. Holding the event in a popular area in the second-largest city in the state enabled the CFB to reach large numbers. And, combining antique tractors with antique and classic cars, the CFB attracted a wide audience with diverse interests. The location of the event had not seen a John Deere tractor in operation in over 50 years, but it was agriculture that built this part of town that began with loading docks, local markets, local manufactures, and supply houses for the farmers and the community. This event succeeded in bringing agricultural awareness and presence back to the area for an evening, reminding attendees that agriculture provides for the restaurants and coffee houses that now line the streets.


The event audience was a mix of individuals who came downtown for the show and individuals who happened upon it. All attendees, young and old, were able to learn about agriculture. There was something for everyone: antique tractors & cars on display, conversations with the car and tractor owners, CFB volunteers available to explain the agricultural use of the equipment on display, printed ag


facts for readers in the group, "My American Farm," game for kids and gamers, and an example of Farm Bureau at work in the community for agricultural stakeholders and potential members. The agent who partnered with the CFB to organize the event received positive feedback from an attendee. The gentleman was nearing 90 years old. He commented, "I am glad that these shows take place because people need to know about these old tractors and where they came from." He went on to explain to the agent how the flywheel on a particular tractor ran backwards.


Through this large-scale tractor and car show, the CFB was successful in bringing agriculture promotion and education to a major urban market. The unique, family-friendly, and enjoyable event garnered participation from a large and diverse audience.


This event was truly successful, and the CFB plans to make it an annual event. For the first annual Antique Tractor and Car show, there were 92 total participants (17 tractors, 75 cars). The president of the Model A club had the following comment: "If you owned a Model A and you missed this show, you missed one of the best shows of the year due to the uniqueness of the location, the fact that the general public was in attendance, not just Model A fans as would be the case at the other shows, and that is what made this show a 'must attend' and a huge success, I hope you do it again next year". The local business community was also excited "I didn't know what to expect when you explained what you were doing, but there's so many people down here, all talking about agriculture and history! I hope you keep this thing going," said a local coffee shop owner.


The media presence was strong. The show was featured in a live interview on the six o'clock news and a story during the ten o’clock news. A separate interview segment was filmed for a Friday morning news program, and the event was covered the following day on the front page of the second-largest newspaper in the state (reaching 500,000 homes). Leading up to the event, the social media analytics from Facebook recorded the most successful event impressions the state Farm Bureau had seen, generating a reach of almost 4,000 people.


Looking to the future for this event, the CFB and county insurance agent want to ggrid-x and adapt this event into a large, agriculture-focused family event. Plans underway for next year include showing more tractors, showing during a different seasonal date, and providing a more hands-on learning experience for children.