Earl Stanley is quite vocal about handing things over to the next generation but thought he would go along for the ride as his daughter Kendra took a turn at the tractor pull. She did quite well. Tinkess Photo

KENMORE – If you didn’t already have plans for Father’s Day, there was no better place to spend it than at the third annual Tractor Jam at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm in Kenmore.

The Tractor Jam has something for just about everyone. It’s a great place to spend the day outside, and you don’t have to worry about getting too much sun as there are plenty of places to sit and relax in the shade, have a bite to eat or a cold drink, and just watch the world go by.

If powerful machinery is your thing, then move on closer to the track as tractors of various vintages kick up the dust while pulling as much weight as they can handle from one end of the track to the other, and in some cases, even beyond.

If you prefer your power to be on four legs, then there are several magnificent equine creatures (horses) who are only too happy to pose as the background for a selfie or two.

If that wasn’t enough, there were vintage cars and trucks, live musical entertainment, the animal barn, and kids games and activities.

Stanley’s has a reputation for giving back to the community, and Tractor Jam is a perfect example of that. Admission was by donation only, although the fee for participating in the tractor pull was $25.00 with proceeds being split between the Canadian Veterans Service Dog unit and Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The day wrapped up with a fish fry meal, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Osgoode Care Centre.

Earl Stanley is the driving force behind Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm, but he is always quick to deflect the attention to others, such as the Carleton Junior Farmers, who were volunteering in many different capacities during the Tractor Jam

“We’re just kind of playing,” said Earl Stanley. “Everybody’s just doing their thing. I’m kind of stepping back and letting the kids go ahead and run the tractors. That was the idea; I want to let the next generation start to take over.”

“Ian Burnett, he’s the head of the Carleton Junior Farmers and with their help we can do something like this. It’s great to get the community involved. And there’s your next generation of agriculture. His mom and dad and I grew up together, and we’re handing it over. My kids are running my business, and he’s running theirs. He’s the one to talk to, go ahead and interview him.

“We ended up volunteering here in different ways,” said Ian Burnett.  “We ran the gates, helped with registration, kind of directed traffic. And then we had a few members helping with the pulling sled, going around with the flags and stuff. Just mostly doing what we can to help the community.

“We like being part of the community and doing what we can to help out, to keep events like this going.”

It must be a nice feeling to when they start to hand things over more and more to you?

“Well, in Earl’s case it is more like throwing responsibility at you, but we appreciate it, we like to be a part of it, and being trusted with the responsibility.

Kendra Stanley is one of Earl’s daughters, and along with her sister Sierra, are very much the next generation of Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm. She competed in the tractor pull (and did quite well).

“I haven’t pulled since the first year we did this,” said Kendra. “My sister and I both pulled against our dad for the 25th anniversary when we did a big party for that. After that, we wanted to keep doing it. So, this is the third annual, and, you know, every year we pick a different charity to represent.

“I personally work in the kitchen at the farm, so, I’m more of a behind the scenes person. But my sister works more in the office. She’s more hands on with the people and everything.”

There is something about the idea of the farm that is attractive even to people who have no connection with that way of life. “What we’ve noticed today is that we really have a lot of people from all different walks of life,” says Stanley. “And there’s people from all different areas as well. I’ve heard people from Toronto that are here. And it’s nice to come out and just see what the country rural life is like, but also, it’s just a great cause, it’s fun to watch people, it’s fun to listen to the music, it’s great to just go to the chip truck or grab a drink and just relax in the outdoors.”

Maybe it is just the idea of community that so many find appealing, whatever it is, Stanley’s is a place where you can find it, which is all the reason necessary to keep coming back.