Greensburg resident brings pedal tractors out to fair for kids' competitions

Hannah Brown
Kiowa County Signal
Bodie McDonald works to get the longest pull at the Kiowa County Fair Pedal Pull.

As the 2021 Kiowa County Fair wrapped up, those taking a look back at the different ways the community came together to have a good time and support local youth cannot help but be thankful for Greensburg resident Paul Unruh. Unruh has been helping with the kids pedal tractor pull for several years and this year again, exicted participants and their families joined in the fun. The event is sponsored by Kansas Farm Bureau.

"A number of years ago there were some old-timers and they decided they wanted to retire," said Unruh. "At a farm bureau board meeting one day my name came up because I like to putter around with stuff."

Unruh said he thinks that was three or four years ago. Now, he and his wife Shirley help at county fairs in Comanche, Kiowa, and Barber Counties as well as the Thresher Show in Haviland. 

There are three or four tractors that they use for the events along half a dozen more they use for fun, games, and grandkids, according to Unruh. Pedal tractors are made with two back wheels that pull and the steering intentionally doesn't work very well. 

"The interesting part is the younger the kid, about four years old, they all want to look behind to see if the sled is still coming," said Unruh. "I don't know how to convince them it's still there."

As for the community aspect, Paul and his wife, Shirley, like to think that the pedal tractor pull brings kids of various ages, and their families, out for some friendly competition. 

"As far as I know there are not a lot of other people interested in doing this," said Paul. "We think it's one of the places where comes together. It's interesting to watch the grandparents when a four-year-old is just getting their tricycle legs under them."

The pedal pull has been a staple for the Kiowa County Fair for years, and thanks to the volunteer hours of people like Paul and Shirley Unruh, it can continue to for years more.