Thank you to everyone who made the 2015 Draft Animal-Power Field Days a Success!!
Photography by: Jennifer Judkins, Carolyn Moran & Emily Langer
Our generous sponsors, vendors, devoted volunteers, dedicated committee members, teamsters, photographers, presenters and many DAPNet members did a great job of bringing this unique event to Western Massachusetts.
We had incredible weather throughout the event. The Cummington Fairgrounds proved to be a great location as spectators, participants, family and friends gathered from all over the Northeast, Including some far travelers from California, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, and Sweden!
Thursday’s workshops proved to be a huge success as folks received hands-on experience and specialized attention in small groups. Lots of time was focused on training animals, training teamsters, safety and productivity!
Friday and Saturday’s programming continued to have a focus on education with plenty of time for networking, socializing and fun mixed in. Vendors including Yonie’s Harness, Crossroads Cultivators and White Horse Machine, Blue Star Equiculture, Donn’s Mower Shop, Rural Heritage and The Western Massachusetts Scything Association added a great variety of equipment, expertise and support to the event. Modern Farmer Magazine joined the event for a two day photo shoot highlighting the draft horse breeds. Keep an eye out for their winter issue! “Lightning” the raffle foal made her debut and was an immediate celebrity among the DAPNet members far and wide! The lucky winner of the foal was Leah Haney of Maine.
On Sunday the teamsters battled it out in the “Barnyard Obstacle Competition”. The course designed by Tom Jenkins and Sue Brennan proved to provide some good fun and laughs as the horses, oxen and teamsters tried their hand at some new maneuvers.
We had 20 horses, 14 oxen and “Bob the Mule” participate in activities throughout the four day weekend. Over 30 presenters, including teamsters, farriers, veterinarians, equipment manufactures, foresters, horse trainers, farmers & gardeners drew a diverse crowd. Saturday was our busiest day with nearly 300 people in attendance. A total of 49 people and businesses purchased or renewed their DAPNet membership through the event.
Here is what folks had to say about the event….
“My favorite part of the event was being with “My People” and enjoying watching skilled teamsters. I also loved the Sunday morning obstacle class with both the horses and oxen – Wow!”-Reva Seybolt
“It’s difficult to pick a favorite part….seeing so many friends with their animals, hands on opportunity, and putting faces together with the folks from the internet. Meeting new people. Just a great weekend….. I volunteered in the kitchen and supplied most of the paper products, etc. A good way to see everyone who attended. Amazed at the distance some folks traveled to be at DAP. Great turnout. ” – Robin Jurechko
“A weekend of good discussion, great animals and awesome friends” -Emily Langer
“The animals are great, but I really keep coming back for the people. So many hard working, talented and humble people in one place is a real treat for me. Ever since the first event in 2007, it always feels like I am coming home, only home is but a brief weekend. Soak it up and enjoy it while it lasts. I am always reminded that there are still good people in this world that do amazing work, and that there is an endless amount to learn.” Erika Marczak
“My experience at the DAPNet field days was a very fun and educational experience, even as an instructor. The four days I was there was filled with lots of well trained animals and wonderful people. Being able to preform and teach successfully really was an inspiration for the beginning of my career, so a big thank you to all those that made it happen!” – Kaleigh Hamel