Farmer Olympics in Vermont

With the world’s attention focused on the Olympic Games in Brazil, a decidedly different type of competition was held in a small corner of New England, as farmers took to the field for the second annual Farmer Olympics in Vershire, Vt. After taking part in warm-up events that included a hay bale toss, the crowd gathered for an opening ceremony where a quartet performed the Olympic theme song on kazoo. When the competition began, 60 farmers sprinted up a hill, empty bins and shovels in hand, for the manure relay. The event was sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont. In the end it was a team from Cedar Circle Farm in East Stepford who took the gold. Their team’s name? Soil’d.--By Jessica Rinaldi
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Niko Horster of Shire Beef holds the torch during the opening ceremony of the second annual Farmer Olympics held at Broad Acres Farm in Vershire, Vt., on Aug. 9. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Gillian Wyman of Root 5 Farm in Fairlee, Vt. holds their team’s mascot, “Broc,” as she stretches before the start of the Farmer Olympics. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Farmers pick up bales of hay as they prepare for the warm-up hay bail toss. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Women use kazoos to hum the Olympic theme during the opening ceremony. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Gillian Wyman of Root 5 Farm held aloft their team’s mascot, “Broc.” (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Judge Sam Fuller, Services Director of Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (center), calls out the winner of the manure relay. Farmers raced to fill four bins full of manure and then ran them across the field to dump the bins into the manure spreader at the base of the hill. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Merle Russell of Humble Hill Farm tosses a bail of hay as he takes part in the event. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Farmers scramble to load manure into bins during the manure relay event. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Judge Sam Fuller tallies the results in the second annual Farmer Olympics at Broad Acres Farm. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Farmers pushed 700-pound bales of hay around a course during the wrapped bale push event. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Gregory Wilson of Opera House Farm tosses a bale of hay as he takes part in the Farmer Olympics. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Children leap across bales of hay as the farmers who were competing worked on word problems at Broad Acres Farm. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Farmers raise their hands before the start of the seeding relay. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Root 5 farmer Seth Bent (right) slips and falls as he and fellow Root 5 farmer Ben Blais race to create a 20-by-20-foot fence during the single strand fence setting event. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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A judge from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont makes sure that the fence that Root 5 Farm set up is knee high during the single strand fence setting event. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Farmers sit in the pasture as they await the word problem portion of the Farmer Olympics. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Following the announcement of the winners, the national anthem was sung at the conclusion of the event. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Elisa Walker (center) and her fellow farmers from Springtail Farm sit in the center of a fence setting after racing to create a 20-by-20-foot fence during the single strand fence setting event. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Before the start of the first event, farmers helped to move a chicken coop that had been tossed off of its trailer during a wind storm at Broad Acres Farm in Vershire, Vt. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Farmers run up a hill towards the manure pile during the manure relay event. They raced to fill four bins full of manure and then ran them across the field to dump the bins into the manure spreader at the base of the hill. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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Members of Cedar Circle Farm celebrated winning the seeding relay. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
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