It was a remark by Kansas State Football Coach Bill Snyder before the Iowa State game that made a Hutchinson farm equipment manufacturer pull the old plow out of the tree row.
The football rivalry between the Wildcats and the Cyclones has been dubbed “Farmageddon" - a reference to the land grant roots of both schools. Both teams have played each since 1917 - one of the longest continuously played series in college football.
But the annual meeting doesn’t have a trophy.
“I heard someone ask Bill in his press conference about a Farmageddon trophy, and (Snyder said) had not thought about it,” said Mike Bergmeier, president of Shield Agricultural Equipment in South Hutchinson. Bergmeier and his wife, Angie, are season ticket holders and longtime K-State supporters.
For a few days, Bergmeier mulled around an idea.
“Maybe I’ll do a Farmageddon trophy,” he thought.
A Farmageddon trophy has been talked about by media writers and fans in both states.
"So let’s get a golden tractor or a bronze ear of corn or an assortment of farming tools and start handing something out after #Farmageddon -- the most underrated rivalry in college football,” wrote Wichita Eagle sportswriter Kellis Robinett in an article published Nov. 22.
There are even petitions regarding the trophy. One has 234 signatures.
While Bergmeier’s company makes innovative farm tools that are marketed across the Midwest and worldwide, he wanted something that would be familiar to both states. He recalled an old plow stuck in his father-in-law’s tree row for, at least, 25 years.
Bergmeier said he thought the tool made sense because of its deep farm history. At one time, farmers in both states used plows to work their fields.
There was a cedar tree growing through it, but Bergmeier dragged it out using a chain saw and skid loader.
Bergmeier, along with Angie and their daughter, Olivia, began working on the trophy Thanksgiving Day. They cleaned off the rust, welded it to a disc blade, painted it to reflect both K-State and Iowa State colors and stenciled on it "Farmageddon."
He took it to the Nov. 25 K-State vs. Iowa State game and displayed it in the parking lot. Many stopped by to take photos with the trophy.
The game turned into an epic, come-from-behind victory that came down to seconds left and a final play of the game. The Wildcats would rally back for a 20-19 win over the Cyclones.
Bergmeier said he asked Kansas State’s athletic department and alumni association if they wanted the trophy, but they weren’t interested.
“I can understand how a university can’t accept a trophy,” he said, adding that if it was never used, he just has “$17 bucks in it.”
But on a lark, he sent an email and photo of it to Bill Snyder’s office.
He received a written response in the mail.
“We’d love to put your trophy in our players' locker room, Mike,” Snyder wrote. “Thanks for being a great Wildcat fan.”
Officials at Kansas State didn’t respond to whether they have received other trophies in the past for the game.
“I would hope they might turn it into a traveling trophy,” Bergmeier said, but added, “I think it is cool he wants it for the players' locker room.”
Bergmeier said he plans to have daughters Olivia, a freshman at Kansas State, and Elissa, a junior, present the trophy. Olivia, the assistant photography editor for the Kansas State Collegian, takes photos during football games. Her photo captured from the game graced the cover of the Nov. 27 Collegian.