CLINTON, Tenn. — The Anderson County Fair is a yearly tradition for many families, but no one's streak comes close to Howard Farmer. 

"It's changed a whole lot. It's more about the entertainment now," Farmer said.

His last name, Farmer, says all you need to know. 

"My granddad farmed, then my dad farmed. I farmed, and now my nephews are farming," Farmer said. 

He first visited the fair in 1948 to collect a prize pocket knife he won for selling rat poison. 

Howard Farmer
Howard Farmer shows off a pocket knife he won for selling rat poison at the 1948 Anderson County Fair.

"That was back in the older years. We had a lot of rats around. It was sold in cans like dog food and I sold the most," Farmer said pulling out the pocket knife he still has 71 years later. 

From overseeing the antique tractors to helping with the county beauty pageant, Farmer has worn a lot of different hats over the years. 

Today, he oversees all the crops that come in for competition. Contrary to popular belief, he said the biggest is not the best. 

"That’s not it. Everybody’s got that impression. That’s not right. Same thing with cucumbers. People want to bring the biggest cucumber. Well, that’s not the best there is. It’s whatever you get in the store," Farmer said, explaining that they judge vegetables based on what is typically sold in the grocery store. 

anderson county fair
Fair-goers stand in line for tickets to the 2019 Anderson County Fair.

While the fair has changed since his first visit, like all the carnival rides and games, one thing remains the same. Farmer still loves going to the fair.

"It's just a time to meet up and tell stories and fellowship." 

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