A year ago in late June, the Jeter family was busy preparing for what would be the first sanctioned tractor/truck pull in the county in recent memory.
It drew several thousand spectators to the newly built pulling track on “the river farm” off Mount Joy Road just outside of Buchanan.
In the fall, promoter Dragon Motor Sports held a second pull at the site, and on Saturday, June 30, the Dunnsville-based pull organizer will be back.
Then, in August, the Jeters will add another community event at the farm along the James River— a country music concert featuring Morgan Wallen whose hit single with backup from Florida Georgia Line, “Up Down,” reached No. 5 on the Billboard Country Airplay and No. 6 Hot Country Songs charts this spring.
Country music artists Ray Fulcher and Corey Hager will open the Friday, Aug. 10 concert.
The concert will be followed September 8 by another tractor/truck pull at the river farm. The Jeter family then goes into festival mode in October at its Bonsack area farm where they’ve held a month-long Fall Festival for several years.
The hillside overlooking the tractor pull track the Jeters built last year, a cornfield, the James River and Purgatory Mountain proved to be as much an attraction as the powerful tractors and trucks that took turns pulling a weighted sled.
“The community— people in the area— were very supportive,” Ned Jeter explained about the tractor pulls while he and sons Darrell and Ned II were getting ready to bale hay and bushhog on the river farm. “People want something like that where you can bring your family… have multiple generations together.”
Plus, he noted, “They liked the view of Purgatory…. It was just a good social event.”
The tractor pulls created a lot of buzz in the area, Ned II explained. He said they had folks keep suggesting they have music at the venue as well.
The track for the tractor pull lends itself to a stage area, and the hillside provided lots of room for spectators, so the brothers started scouting the possibilities. They landed Morgan Wallen just as “Up Down” was breaking into the country music charts and getting lots of radio airplay.
The Jeters paid attention to the first tractor pulls and have made some minor adjustments they believe will make the events run even more smoothly.
They’ve adjusted parking to resolve having a little traffic back up on Mount Joy Road, they’ll have multiple food and beverage lines; weather permitting, they’ll try to start on time. Thunderstorm warnings can cause delays.
Ned II said he likes the idea of having something for the community like the tractor pull. “I like the horsepower,” Darrell added.
“A lot of people are looking forward to it,” Darrell said of the concert that’s already getting a lot of attention.
While the tractor pull and concert help diversify the farming operation, the 50 acres of corn growing on the river farm, the hay and cattle are still day-to-day operations that need attending to.
Keeping agriculture viable in the county has been an important component in the Botetourt Board of Supervisors’ strategic plan, too; and Ned Sr. noted the county has been helpful in the process of preparing for the events. Last month, the supervisors approved allowing an exception to the end time for the tractor pull should there be a rain delay, and Ned Sr. said County Administrator Gary Larrowe visited the farm and offered some constructive ideas.
Right now, the schedule for the June 30 tractor/truck pull includes an antique tractor pull at 4:30 p.m. (gates open at 4 p.m.). The National Anthem will be played at 6 p.m. when the regular tractor/truck pull starts. There are seven tractor and pickup truck pull classes scheduled in the Dragon Motor Sports Power Pulling League event.
Admission is $15 (children 6 and under, free) and food, beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase on site (no coolers allowed).
Visitors should bring chairs and/or blankets; and there’s plenty of room for the kids.
Tickets for the country music concert are available online at the Jeter Farm website (www.jeterfarm.com). Advance tickets are $25, and $30 the day of the show/
Again, visitors will want to bring chairs/blankets for hillside seating; and several food trucks, beer and wine will be available. Visit the farm’s website or Facebook page for more details on all the events.