IPM 2019
Come see what we are excited about
IPM 2020
Learn More about IPM 2020

To contact the OPA office, call 519-767-2928 or 705-594-2492.

Thursday at IPM 2019

Day 3 at the IPM is sure to captivate you, as there’s an no shortage of thingsCanadian Cowgirls from IPM 2019 to see and do.

Don’t miss the Canadian Cowgirls precision drill team at the RAM Rodeo Ring, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.  As the venue’s name suggests, rodeo action gets underway at noon and 2:30 p.m.

The BMO Plowing Competition gets underway at 9:30 and 11 a.m. with Horse Plowing at 10 a.m.

Live chainsaw wood-carving demonstrations from North Side Johnny’s will be going on throughout the day. They can be found in Tent 5A, at the intersection of Fifth Street and West Nipissing Avenue.

There’s lots of hands-on activities taking place throughout the day at the Hydro One Education Centre.

The West Coast Lumberjack Show, located in Tent 3A (near Service Road 3 and West Nipissing Avenue), will have performances at 10 a.m. as well as 1:30 and 3 p.m.

There’s live music happening on the Main Stage, Ontario Mutuals Stage and in the Final Furrow Lounge at beginning at various times throughout the day, along with presentations in the Lifestyles Tent from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  La Vie en Couleur & Décor hosts a Fashion Show in the Lifestyles Tent at 1 p.m.

Among the Main Stage performers is Mimi O’Bonsawin, winner of the Best Pop Album award at the 2019 Indigenous Music Awards, at 4 p.m. She’s also in the Final Furrow Lounge at 2 p.m.

Be sure to check out the Antique and Historical displays, including several antique equipment demonstrations throughout the day.

 

Check out the full events schedule

Our photos of IPM 2019

 


West Coast Lumberjacks, Amber Marshall, Canadian Cowgirls

 IPM 2019 – Sept. 17 to 21 in Verner, West Nipissing

Don’t miss the excitement as the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo makes its return to Northern Ontario

Special features include:Rodeo 2

“I’m super excited,” Amber Marshall says of attending the 2019 IPM. “This is one that you’re not going to want to miss.”

Other highlights include:

  • BMO Plowing Competition
  • Hydro One Education Centre
  • Ontario Queen of the Furrow Competition, brought to you by the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association
  • Multiple Live Music VenuesVendors 2018 3
  • Antique & Modern Equipment
  • Displays/Demonstrations
  • Hundreds of Exhibitors (applications still being accepted)
  • Lifestyle Presentations
  • Themed Tents
  • And Much More!

The official IPM 2019 Show Guide, including the schedule of events, is available here.

Tickets cost $20 each for adults at the gate; $5 for children.

Wondering where to stay? Earl’s RV Park sites allow you to enjoy all the IPM has to offer, including nightly entertainment exclusive to the park. The price of your site includes two adult admissions for each day of your stay.

Horse Plowing, Tractor Inspection, Big Equipment, Tractor Plowing

 


 

Explained: Ontario Queen of the Furrow

Promoting agriculture and the rural lifestyle

A woman cuts through the crowd, her grin transforming into a wide smile as she reaches royalty.

“I always wanted to meet a queen,” she says, extending her hand toward Derika Nauta, the 2018/2019 Ontario Queen of the Furrow. “Do you plow?”

Derika smiles back, shaking the woman’s hand, “Yes, of course.”

London Farm Show Derika and Sheila

2018/2019 Ontario Queen of the Furrow Derika Nauta

and OPA President Sheila Marshall at the London Farm Show.

This is a scenario that plays out regularly for Derika, who tours the province promoting agriculture and the upcoming 2019 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) in Verner, West Nipissing, as well as the event’s parent host, the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA).

“People always want to meet the Queen,” Derika quips later, letting out a laugh.

Derika wears her Ontario Queen of the Furrow sash and tiara with pride, attending Association Plowing Matches, farm shows, parades, agricultural events and more. She never turns down an opportunity to discuss the importance of agriculture and the rural lifestyle.

Having grown up on a dairy farm near Tavistock in Oxford County, they’re topics this 22-year-old knows well.

“It’s nice to get out of your comfort zone and meet all these new people,” says Derika, commenting on some of the major benefits of being Ontario Queen of the Furrow – building people skills and networking abilities.

“It’s more than a pageant.”

Indeed! While appearance is a part of the judging criteria, it’s far from a major factor.

Contestants – each of whom is selected by their local plowing association to represent their region at the IPM – spend two days being assessed by a panel of judges. Points are assigned based on plowing ability, an interview with the panel, and a speech on an agricultural topic delivered on the Main Stage in front of IPM visitors, as well as appearance and deportment.

The top five contestants are then asked to give an impromptu speech during the annual Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony, with the winner announced that evening.

Derika had never plowed when she first agreed to take part in the Oxford County Branch Queen of the Furrow competition. A neighbour was supposed to compete but had to drop out and asked Derika if she’d take the spot.

Derika was only 15 years old at the time but she quickly agreed. Following an introduction to plowing, a little coaching and speech-writing, she was selected as Oxford ag royalty.

The next year, off she went to Mitchell, where IPM 2013 was held, to compete with the other branch Queens.

She wasn’t presented the Ontario crown that time around, but the “amazing” experience convinced her to give it another try in 2017. Again, she was chosen by her local branch and took part in the Queens competition, this time at IPM 2018 in Chatham-Kent.

“Coming at it the second time, I was a little more confident in what I was doing. I was a little more confident with advocating for agriculture. I was more passionate about agriculture,” Derika says. “I think that was the biggest difference (from 2013).”

Another major difference was her age. In order to be crowned Ontario Queen of the Furrow, you must be between 18 and 25 years old. It’s not uncommon for the same woman to represent her branch association more than once; the rules allow them to do it in up to three times.

“It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t think it’ll feel real until the 2019 IPM,” Derika said of being bestowed the provincial crown. “It’s been such an amazing opportunity for me to leave Oxford County and see what else is out there, meet politicians and inspire people who are in agriculture, and see how much bigger things are.”

The Queen of the Furrow program has been part of the IPM since 1960 and is graciously sponsored by the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association. The Queen crowned one year performs a number of duties during the next year’s IPM and is a representative for that event.

“The idea of the Queens program is to promote agriculture, to promote the Ontario Plowmen’s Association and to promote the IPM. The Queen, by doing all of this, gains a lot of confidence in herself, her ability to speak, how to communicate with people, think on her feet,” explains Sheila Marshall, who represents the OPA on the IPM Queens committee and was herself an Ontario Queen of the Furrow back in 1973/1974.

“For me, it was awesome because my dad was a plowman and he had won the gold medal with horses and I wanted to do something as well, so I went through the Queen program,” she says, noting she also plowed competitively.

“Being Queen really got me out into different parts of the province that I probably never would have seen and I met people I wouldn’t have met.”

The program, she adds, “is a real self-confidence builder”, even for contestants who don’t win the provincial title.

“You are still building confidence in yourself and the ability to do all those things – they do it at the local level. The Ontario Queen, she’s just doing it on a broader scale.”

- by Richard Vivian


Former Ontario Queen of the Furrow now leads the OPA

For the first time ever, a former Ontario Queen of the Furrow sits as President of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA). Sheila Marshall, of St. Pauls, was acclaimed to the role during the OPA’s Annual Convention, held April 5-7 in Barrie.

“I’m very passionate about the organization,” Sheila says of what inspired her to accept the nomination.

“My dad (Elmer Armstrong) was an avid horse plowman, winning the IPM 1941 gold medal. I always plowed at the International Plowing Match with him when he switched to tractors and I just wanted to carry on the legacy of our family.”

Sheila was chosen as Ontario Queen of the Furrow in 1973.

The program sees local branch Queens compete to represent the upcoming International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) and the OPA at events across the province.

Sheila credits the Queen of the Furrow program with helping her develop public speaking and networking skills that contribute to her success in achieving the OPA presidency.

“It’s history being made,” she says of a former Ontario Queen landing the top spot on the OPA Board.

2019 Board of Directors small

The 2019 OPA Board of Directors: (Front row, from left) Margaret Vincent, Melvin Switzer, David Murray, Robert MacLean and Donna Telfer. (Back row) Doug Sturgess, Don Priest, Brian Lunn and Sheila Marshall. PHOTO CREDIT: BARN GIRLS PHOTOGRAPHY.

It was 2014 when Sheila was asked to be co-chair of the Queen of the Furrow program. The next year she was asked to run for the OPA’s Board of Directors, which she did. She’s currently in her second term on the Board.

Heading into last weekend’s convention, Sheila served as First Vice-President.

She’s not the only former Queen of the Furrow on the Board. Belgrave resident and 2008 Huron Plowmen’s Association branch Queen Margaret Vincent was acclaimed to the role of Zone 3 Director after longtime Director and 2009 OPA President Carl Weber withdrew from the ballot.

“Carl’s numerous years of experience and involvement were definitely an asset for the Zone,” says Margaret. “It wasn’t wanting to be against him [that I ran], it was wanting to be involved with the organization.”

Carl, of Ayton, was presented with a special gift during the Convention Banquet on April 7 and was recognized with a standing ovation.

Margaret, who is in her second year as President of the Huron Plowmen’s Association, was chosen as her branch Queen of the Furrow in 2007 and competed for the title of Ontario Queen of the Furrow at IPM 2008.

Asked why she decided to run for the OPA Board of Directors, Margaret offers the following:

“Since I was a teenager, I have been lucky to receive support from local mentors and groups to grow as an individual. It is my desire to contribute to the agricultural community that has helped develop me.

“Various experiences have helped shape my appreciation of the tradition and roots of the IPM. That said, IPMs are not why I decided I wanted the opportunity to serve as a director, it is the people.”

In the role of First Vice-President is Minesing’s Don Priest, with Robert MacLean of the Kingston area serving as Second Vice-President.

Melvin Switzer of Binbrook won the seat for Zone 2. Cayuga’s David Murray, who’s term as OPA President has been completed, was acclaimed into a Director-At-Large position, in addition to his role as Past-President.

The 2019/2020 OPA Board of Directors is:

  • Zone 1 – Brian Lunn
  • Zone 2 – Melvin Switzer
  • Zone 3 – Margaret Vincent
  • Zone 4 – Don Priest
  • Zone 5 – Robert MacLean
  • Zone 6 – Doug Sturgess
  • At-Large – Sheila Marshall, David Murray, Donna Telfer

 

2020 International Plowing Match & Rural Expo

to be held in Lindsay

The Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) is pleased to announce the location of the 2020 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo – Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes.

“We looked at several potential locations for IPM 2020 and this one ticked all the boxes,” says newly minted OPA President Sheila Marshall. “It’s a great spot, in a fantastic, agriculturally rich community.

“We’re excited to bring the IPM and its 80,000+ visitors to Kawartha Lakes.”

The IPM, which is held in a different community every year, is a multi-day celebration of agriculture and rural living. It includes plowing competitions, live entertainment on multiple stages, hundreds of exhibitors, demonstrations, educational displays/activities and much more. This event typically attracts 80,000+ people and has an economic impact of about $25 million (based on tourism industry formulas).

IPM 2020 will be held the week after Thanksgiving. It was pushed back a few weeks from its traditional date in order to fit into the schedule at the Lindsay Fairgrounds (354 Angeline St. S.), which will house Tented City. With a variety of buildings and facilities at the Fairgrounds, Tented City will take on a new look with its many attractions, activities and hundreds of exhibitors.

Plowing competitions will be held on nearby fields.

The OPA Board of Directors approached the Lindsay Fairgrounds last fall about the prospect of bringing the IPM to the fairgrounds. Several other locations were also under consideration right up until a final location was selected.

An event of this scale requires hundreds of volunteers, as well numerous sponsors. Organizers will soon begin efforts to sign up both.

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