Farmer’s pride at stake in the tractor pull

NORWICH – The crowd converses continuously in the gaps of action, the announcer’s speaker echoes over the noise, naming the newest contestant who immediately fires his engine in a reverberating roar as thousands of horsepower project a towering plume of diesel smoke 200 feet over the grandstand.

The tractor shudders, and the front wheels bounce off the ground as the strength of the rear torque begins to drag a sled, several times its own weight, down the playing field with not a sound able to be heard over the crowd’s deafening cheers and tractor’s snarling mechanics.

Welcome to the Chenango County Fair’s annual tractor pull competitions.

Thursday, local farmers began heading to the fairgrounds with their reliable modern day workhorses while others arrived with competitive stock tractors used in state and national wide tractor pulling competitions.

More than 70 local farmers attended the lower level competitions and 25 super stock pullers entered the most competitive event.

“Most of them are not enhanced and are used for the everyday chores of farming, we call it ‘Out of Field’,” explained the president of the Chenango County Agricultural Society, Mary Weidman, whose group organizes the 2009 fair.

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