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  • Fairbury News staff

The show goes on at PCUE

Nathan Wenger with Bank of Pontiac, right, helps with a game at the bank's booth.

You can add the Prairie Central FFA Farm and Home Show to the long list of traditions which have returned to the area this winter after a year away.

“It’s cool to see the community reaching out to us and just being there,” said Prairie Central FFA Sentinel Garret Platz during Saturday’s show in Forrest.

The 41st annual show held at the Prairie Central Upper Elementary school included exhibitors representing various industries like agriculture, construction, banking, electrical, plumbing and insurance. Visitors enjoyed a pork burger lunch and purchased raffle tickets for the restored 1948 Farmall H tractor which will be raffled during the Prairie Central FFA Hog Roast and Auction on March 17.

Show preparations began early Friday morning as ag students helped prepare the flooring and install dividers. Work continued after school to help businesses set up displays for the following day.

“We have kids helping out in the kitchen, serving lunch and helping people get around,” explained FFA vice president Ivan Miller. “Then, we’ll tear down and get ready for the auction.”

Several onlookers were spotted near the restored Farmall tractor on the gym’s south end, appreciating the restoration efforts on the 1948 machine donated by Corrie Antiques of Chenoa.

“We tore it down, stripped it down and everything then put it all back together,” said Miller.

FFA members had plenty of help from the community as Ben Meister helped paint the tractor and let students use his shop. The March 17 meal at the high school starts at 4 p.m. with the auction to follow at 6:30.

“The meal is free,” Platz noted.

Although no official total of attendees was provided, a steady stream of visitors walked up and down the aisles of Farm and Home Show displays from late morning through the early afternoon hours Saturday. Some of those at the show thought the numbers could have been down compared to two years ago but were still impressed with the turnout.

Traditions returned such as the kiddie car wash from All American Wash of Fairbury and homemade ice cream cones from Ken’s Oil Service of Forrest. Many vendors offered visitors free items such as candy or pens.

“When I was here as a student, I didn’t realize all of the hard work that went into everything like planning, organizing and getting all of the exhibitors lined up,” said Tyson Stork, one of the PC ag teachers.

Stork considers the show a great event for the community which brings people together while allowing local businesses to showcase everything they have to offer.

“(The FFA alumni) do so much behind the scenes that takes the load off of our shoulders,” Stork added.

This has been a very successful school year for the Prairie Central FFA as they brought home two national champions in ag sales and dairy products and received 10th place in food science for a good showing at Indianapolis. PC ended up receiving 6th in the state for ag sales and first overall for dairy products. This means FFA members will be heading back to Indy next October.

Competition continues next weekend with the state meats and vet science events. Activities later in the school year include poultry, ag management and ag mechanics. The Illinois FFA Convention is in June.

A "cozy coupe" toy car at the All American Wash display Saturday.

The official PC FFA tractor on display at the Farm & Home Show Saturday.

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