GREENFIELD — The old red International Turbo 1066 tractor was anything but speedy. It looked as out of gas as one of its riders.
With his shoulders slumped and his tongue sticking out, 4-year-old Will Parker of Greenfield was tuckered out after competing in his first 4-H Pedal Pull contest Tuesday evening.
“That’s hard,” the youngster said, making a face before climbing off the tractor seat.
His father, Robert Parker, said the family recently moved to the Greenfield area and was excited to let Will take part in the fair.
“We thought this would be good for us to experience the town and see what’s going in and join the fair,” Parker said. “We’re looking forward to starting 4-H as soon as we can.”
The annual pedal pull gives children too young to compete in 4-H activities a chance to be part of the fair. More than 70 youngsters participated this year.
Children ages 10 and under who have not completed third grade and are not competing in the fair were placed in five different weight categories. They were then asked to pull about 7 pounds while riding a mini tractor.
Event organizer Erin Cain, who is also a Greenfield-Central teacher, said the pedal pull is a great way for younger children to be exposed to some of the fun the fair has to offer.
“It’s a great contest,” Cain said. “The kids will pull the weight across the stage, and as they pull the weight, it comes up, making it harder to pull.”
Things didn’t seem to be too difficult though for her two children, Ryan and Alyssa Cain.
They both pedaled as hard as they could and finished in first place in their respective weight divisions.
The children’s grandmother used to run the event and asked Erin and her husband, Chris, to take over, which they gladly did.
“Most of the people running this now took part in the pedal pull when we were little,” Erin Cain said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
For her daughter, Alyssa, a Sugar Creek Elementary School student, this was her last chance to come in first place before she heads to 4-H activities next year.
In previous years, she finished second and third in her weight category. Alyssa vowed to give it her all to win the first-place trophy this year, despite the odds.
“I have too many boys in my class,” she said. “I’m usually the only girl.”
Still, she was able to come away with the win.
After her first-place finish and beating all those boys, Alyssa shrugged her shoulders and smiled when asked how it felt to win.
“I don’t know,” she said before wrapping her arms tightly around her grandmother, who was sitting in the stands cheering her on.
Together, the two admired her trophy and then watched the rest of the competition.