More than a dozen children and teens lined up Friday for one of the lesser known rides at the Jefferson County Fair a garden tractor.
Many of the riders said the Youth Tractor Competition, which requires participants to weave a garden tractor around flags, is tougher than it appears.
The hardest part is keeping distance on both sides of the flags, said Andrew R. Lennox, a 15-year-old student at Belleville-Henderson Central.
Andrew said hes never done the tractor competition at the fair, but he does mow his lawn as well as a neighbors. Additionally, he is a member of the FFA club at his school.
A lot of kids at my school are interested in it, he said.
Judges Richard F. Campany and William C. Stowell guided competitors through the course of flags under the blazing sun.
Its a means of tractor safety, said Mr. Campany, an agriculture teacher at Alexandria Central.
Mr. Stowell, an agriculture teacher at South Jefferson Central, said such exercises are a small part of the curriculum during the school year. Both judges saw several of their students participate at the fair.
Its a part of landscaping and turf management, Mr. Stowell said. The whole concept here is exposure.
As one girl began the backwards portion of the flag maze, Mr. Stowell said it is the hardest part for most of the competitors.
They want to turn the wheel so bad and end up overcompensating when they turn, he said.
Ryan P. Gleisner, 11, from Philadelphia, participated this year because he did well last year.
Last year, it was fun, he said. I was better than a lot of kids last year.
He said the trick to getting through the maze without hitting the flags was not to go too fast or too slow.
Scoring depended on time and how well the competitor avoided hitting the flags. Just as in golf, having the least number of points was ideal.
First place went to Andrew, Karen Fargo from Belleville-Henderson Central took second and Ashley Hodge from Belleville-Henderson came in third.