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Missouri family shares love for toys and farm layout hobby at show
Illinois Correspondent

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Jacob Colonga won the junior farm layout competition at this year’s Gateway Farm Toy Show the first weekend in February.

The title of his display was A&B Dairy based on A for Andy Cologna, his cousin, and B for Bill Cologna, his uncle who own A&B Dairy, which is located just up the road from Jacob’s home in Marshfield, Mo.

Jacob has been coming to this toy show for years with his grandparents, Martha and Charlie Cologna. Along with Jacob, his sister, Kelsie, 14, and cousins, Clay, 8, and Kyle, 6, also joined the group.

“We have been bringing the grandkids here since they were 2 or 3,” Martha Cologna said.

The farm layout bug has hit not only Jacob, but his cousin Clay, too.

Clay Forbis set up right next to Jacob. Clay called his layout CBK Ranch because, “My dad has one and I wanted to do a ranch. We have calves and raise babies and sell them for beef. We raise beef of all kinds.”

Clay’s display also includes two alfalfa fields and a pond and a cow field. He also had a hay shed that he said, “My cousin Jacob used before and I borrowed it.”

While Clay’s operation showed a beef ranch, Jacob’s A&B Dairy layout reflected the operations of the dairy farm. Since Jacob’s uncle passed away awhile back, the dairy farm has been operated by his cousin Andy Cologna. The dairy farm operations shown in the farm layout include baling hay and chopping silage.

“There are 150 Holstein heifers, they mainly milk them then sell the calves. I had to buy more cows for the display,” Jacob added.

For this 15-year-old, the farm layout reflects experience as well as an admiration for the family dairy farm.

“I help them chop silage and my dad used to work for them,” Jacob said.

While everything about the display was interesting, the most visible aspect of the layout was the rolling landscape. “The farm slopes flat on back with ravines on the side. The farm is in the middle.”

To accomplish this rolling landscape, Jacob said, “I took Styrofoam stacked it and used newspaper. Then I put plaster on it and smoothed it out.”

This farm news was published in the March 1, 2006 issue of Farm World.