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Tractor pull named for Don Schwartz

July 24, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

SHARPSBURG - The mood was a little somber as one of Washington County Ag Expo's newest events got under way Saturday evening - the field-worthy farm stock tractor pull was named for longtime extension agent Don Schwartz who died in January after a battle with cancer.

"We all miss Don so this is really a great thing," said announcer Floyd Davis. "We're hoping it will be an annual event."

Held before more than 100 spectators at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center track on Sharpsburg Pike, the new event was designed specifically for the kind of tractors that farmers use every day in the fields.


The new Ag Expo Queen, Rachel Miller, welcomed everyone to the event and said she hoped they enjoyed the show.

The event drew 51 pullers in weight classes ranging from 7,500 pounds to 18,500 pounds and finally to an unlimited class.

First to compete was Galen Long in his 1972 Massey-Ferguson tractor. After a disappointing first pull, Long made a second attempt and pulled an impressive 198 feet.

Second up was Erin Canfield who pulled 157 feet with her John Deere tractor.

The rules for his new event were tough, as outlined in the Ag Expo manual.

All the competing tractors had to have stock appearance and parts the same as the model of the tractor. Fuel restrictions applied as did tire size.

The motto of the category was "If you farm with it, bring it."

The competition, which began at 7 p.m., went on into the evening hours as the temperature mercifully dropped along with the sun.

Washington County Ag Expo 2005 was the first where Don Schwartz's presence wasn't keenly felt. But as some observed, his work for more than 20 years in the farming community will long be remembered.

Jeff Semler, an extension agent in Washington County since 1996, remarked Saturday that Schwartz had been able to attend some of last summer's events even though he was in treatment.

Ag Expo is being held this week at the Ag Center, seven miles south of Hagerstown on Sharpsburg Pike.

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