Valdosta Daily Times

March 9, 2014

Ray City plows into farming roots

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — If you want to gain a deeper appreciation for the grit of our agrarian ancestors, check out Ray City’s annual Old Fashion Plow Day this weekend.

Visitors can see demonstrations of mules and horses working the fields followed by a parade of antique farm equipment and other items. They will also find vendors, food, crafts, music, etc.

But it is the namesake plows that are the real draw.

“A lot of people have never seen mules plow or anything like that, and we put this event on every year,” Greg Harrell, a Plow Day coordinator, has said in the past. “... This is an agricultural community, surrounded in farming, and a lot of the younger generation has never seen this, and if we let it pass they’ll never know about it. We just want to keep our history alive and our heritage alive.”

That history is planted deep in more ways than one way. It runs deep in many of the traditions that still linger in South Georgia. But it also runs so deep that many people may not realize the importance of agriculture today or the way it ran through almost all walks of regional life only a couple of decades ago.

It hasn’t been too long ago that the annual opening of the tobacco market was viewed as one of the most important events in the region, but that, too, has been long enough ago that it is completely unfamiliar to some younger residents and almost forgotten by many older citizens.

As our technology changes the ways we live, work and play, we should occasionally take a few  moments to appreciate how difficult living,

working and playing could be for our past generations.

So, whether it’s leaving the John Deere idle for a day or toting along an iPhone, make a run for Ray City’s Old Fashion Plow Day then better appreciate all the 21st century has to offer.

Ray City’s Old Fashion Plow Day is scheduled for

Saturday, March 15.