Farms, cities can’t stand alone

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 13, 2009

Residents of Pike County’s municipalities and rural areas came together Thursday night at Cattleman Park for this year’s Farm City Week banquet.

The banquet, sponsored by the Farm City Committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, is the culmination of Farm City Week, an event that is intended to foster understanding and appreciation between residents of rural areas and residents of cities.

“When we have these interactions between the farm and the city, I think we learn to appreciate each other and try to make it work,” said Jenniffer Barner, president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsored the event along with the Kiwanis Club of Troy.

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The guests in attendance were provided with a unique perspective on the relationship between rural areas and cities, as Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and farmer Billy Hixon shared their experience of swapping jobs.

Lunsford grew up on a farm, giving him a somewhat nostalgic trip to outside city limits.

“It was a lot of fun for me to go back and see how farming has changed,” Lunsford said.

Hixon was impressed by the job the mayor and city council do for the city.

“The mayor and the council do an outstanding job,” Hixon said.

While they earned a respect for one another, both were eager to return to their normal lives.

“I don’t know I could handle what you farmers handle on a day-to-day basis,” Lunsford said.

Hixon echoed those sentiments, a bit more colorfully.

“I prefer cows because they don’t backtalk you,” Hixon said. “They may kick you every now and then, but they don’t bother you usually.”

Many awards were also given out at the banquet, including a special award for the Pike County 4-H program and a “Century Farm” award given to the Bert Curtis farm for being a family-owned farm for a hundred years.

All in all, the event was a rousing success, something Barner said is especially impressive due to the busy week that precedes it.

“This is a hard week for everybody because Monday night, we have the cattlemen dinner. Tuesday night, we have the co-op dinner, and then Thursday night, you come back for the Farm City dinner,” Barner said. “Ours is the last night of the week of events, but we had good friendship and good fellowship. It’s just always a great event for everybody.”

However, she also said the event would not be possible without the hard work of the Chamber’s Agriculture Committee.

“Without every committee member doing what they’re supposed to be doing, it doesn’t work,” Barner said.

More information about Farm City week and the winners of the awards handed out last night can be found in The Messenger’s Farm City publication, which can be found inside today’s paper.