Gaylen Potter and his Super Farmer Crew have taken their two contests to several fairs this summer.
Recently, they were at the Iowa State Fair with the Young Farmer Challenge (modeled after the Super Teen Contest) and the Farmer Challenge (modeled after the Super Farmer Contest). This is the third year for the contests at the Iowa State Fair.
The Iowa State Fair delegation learned about the contests from a video shown by the Missouri State Fair delegation at the International Fairs and Events Convention held in Las Vegas, Nev. Each contest has won “1st place” at the International Fairs Contest two times.
Last week, Potter received a phone call from the Iowa State Fair telling him that his contest had been selected to be on the NBC Today’s Show with Al Roker. In the first phone call, the original plan was to have Al Roker participate in the contest, but through production and scheduling conflicts, it didn’t work out. Then, Potter got a second phone call a day later from the Iowa State Fair, and was told “... you’re back on! Your contest will be live, and not videoed, on the NBC Today’s Show on Friday morning with Al.”
“We had no idea what to expect,” Potter said. “We thought we would be just in the background on the TV set, but when we got there, we were featured front-and-center with Al Roker.”
This year was the 150th anniversary of the Iowa State Fair.
The entire Young Farmer Challenge Contest was filmed by the Iowa Public Television Crew, and was aired on Saturday night twice on their channels.
The Super Farmer Contest was filmed a by the John Deere Company and featured on the Farming Frontiers State Fair Edition a few years ago.
Potter introduced the Super Farmer Contest at the Missouri State Fair 18 years ago, and 11 years ago created the Super Teen Contest for the Missouri State Fair to give youth between the ages of 15 to 18 years of age the opportunity to compete in their own event.
The Super Teen Contest was brought to the Livingston County Fair about 11 years ago and remains popular among local youth. This year’s Super Teen Contest boasted 120 participants. The local fair has two age groups for the Super Teen Contest: 11 to 14 years of age, and 15 to 18 years of age.
Potter said that the Super Farmer Contest will be part of the Old Time Harvest Days, sponsored by the Livingston County Steam and Gas Association. The event will be on Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Livingston County Fairgrounds. Details for participants will be announced at a later date.