The Rio Grande Valley Farm Equipment Club will be holding their annual scholarship fundraiser this weekend, Saturday February 8, and Sunday February 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the RGV Livestock Showgrounds in Mercedes. Admission is $5. There will be food and fun for those that attend.
All proceeds will benefit the club’s scholarship program. The club awards scholarships to high school students that plan to study agriculture or a related field. The club receives applications every year from Valley high school agriculture and Future Farmers of America department.
The club includes current and/or retired farmers and individuals interested in the preservation of farm life. Some of our members are Winter Texans who are members of similar clubs back home. The club participates in public events, such as the RGV Livestock Show in Mercedes, the La Feria Festival and other related events. Club members display their antique tractors, equipment and other items related to old farm life.
The club was created by local farmers in 1989 to help preserve older farming equipment and to tell the stories of how farming used to be. The goal of the club is to keep old farm life memories alive for present and future generations to come. With their demonstrations and activities, the club lets the younger generation, and older people too, experience how life was for their parents and grandparents.
The club provides demonstrations on rope making, blacksmithing, corn grinding, broom making, and how to make sauerkraut the old-fashioned way. They also provide hayrides and other activities like a duck race game using old fashioned pumps.
The activities are done in hopes of keep old traditions alive and in the thoughts of those who visit. The club enjoys sharing these farming traditions by teaching and exploring them with the younger generations. It is also a walk through memory lane for those that grew up during those times.
The club participates in the RGV Livestock Show in Mercedes that is held in March. They also participate in the La Feria Festival held in February.
The group has several Winter Texan members that help during their stay in the Valley. Some of the members are also members of similar clubs back home.
Irene Zuniga, a board member of the farming club, said the Winter Texans that come by their barn at the Livestock Show spend a lot of time talking to club members about their own farm life experience.
“Of course, they love to compare their tractors with the ones we have on display.”
The club meets from November through March every second Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. at the Livestock Showgrounds. Membership fees are $20 a year. They welcome anyone who would like to come and visit or might be interesting in joining the club.
For more information you can contact the board members – Don Vogel (956) 535-0509; Fred Young (816) 261-2146; Kathy Rike (956) 535-1138; or Irene at (956) 281-1013.