The 114th Buford Farmers Institute will be held on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Clay Township Building in Buford (old Buford school).

The Buford Farmers Institute began in 1904, when the local farmers and their families gathered with the community for the annual event. They shared agriculture ideas and presented updated materials on rural farming, with the event lasting up to two to three days.

Since then, the Farmers Institute has faded away, with only six known events in Ohio presently. Buford holds the only annual event in southern Ohio and has the longest consecutive running event in Highland County.

Back in the early days, families would enter baked goods, canned goods, produce of all types, homemade fabric items, crafts of all sorts, art items, livestock and more to be judged. Today, there are over 100 categories to enter, and the top three winners in each category will receive ribbons and $5, $3 and $2, respectively, for first, second or third place.

Bring your quilts, crocheting, needlework, arts and crafts, baked goods, produce and hobbies to compete for a ribbon and money. Each person can only enter one item per category.

Include your children and grandchildren in this special event. The Farmers Institute encourages the development of youth by sponsoring their own age-appropriate categories.

All entries can be dropped off at the Clay Township Building between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 23. The gym doors will close at 1 p.m. for judging all categories and awarding the winners.

The Buford Farmers Institute is serving a ham and bean dinner with cornbread, coleslaw, dessert and drink from 4-7 p.m. in the gym and concession area. Hot dogs, sandwiches and assorted snacks will also be served throughout the night’s festivities.

The evening session begins at 7 p.m. and usually attracts the largest crowd. The night’s entertainment is the well-known Back in Time Express, who will be playing classic country and gospel music. There will also be a baked goods and produce auction led by Hess Auction Company. All proceeds go to the Buford Farmers Institute.

Door prizes and raffles will also be announced throughout the night. Last year, there were over 116 door prizes handed out during the event.

For more information about the categories or to volunteer to help with the Institute, please call Dianne Mock at (937) 417-8225.