It is one thing to slow down to go around a tractor on a backroad. But it is certainly another when you get 70 tractors, trucks, sprayers and other vehicles lined up. That is what happened recently. It was a tractor parade to pay tribute to frontline workers at Northumberland Hills Hospital and the Golden Plough Lodge.
It was organized by the Northumberland Federation of Agriculture. Sid Atkinson, president of the group describes how it all came about.
But the original idea came from Bruce Buttars, the local rep for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. It came from a group out of Western Ontario.
At 1 p.m. they drove along Burnham Street, then turned on to DePalma Drive and into the hospital. The staff gathered outside the building to wave and cheer as horns blared. Some even played music.
Once they had finished at the hospital, Sid Atkinson led a group south on Strathy Road, then east along Elgin Street, then back on Burnham to swing by the Golden Plough Lodge.
For some, it was very touching. It was a moment of solidarity, a sign of appreciation. And, like so many farmers, it was about family.
Farmers tend to keep to themselves. They quietly toil away, working hard to make sure we have food on our table every day. It is easy to forget it is the single, largest industry in Northumberland. And, they rarely step into the limelight. But for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, a gathering took place to honour another group of hardworking, dedicated people who are essential to our world. Especially now. And, yes, it was kinda sexy.