We're PLOWING ON at the International Plowing Match
and Rural Expo

The 103rd edition of the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) has been postponed until October 2021. The IPM will run from Wednesday, October 13th to Saturday, October 16th and will be held at the Lindsay Fairgrounds and neighbouring Farms in Lindsay, Municipality of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.

The Leadership of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) made this most difficult decision while closely monitoring local, provincial and federal government information and regulations. In spite of these difficult times, the OPA has never wavered from their responsibility to the people that make the IPM successful year after year. The health and safety of our volunteers, sponsors, competitors, visitors and staff will always be our number one priority.

Since its beginnings in 1913, this is only the third time that the event has not been able to open. Ironically, the first cancellation was in 1918 when the quickly-spreading flu pandemic struck the City of Ottawa. According to history, the Mayor of Ottawa and the Federal Minister of Agriculture denied the use of the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa just the day before the IPM was to open. During the Second World War, the IPM did not open as it was important for all Canadians to dedicate their time and talents to the war efforts.

As our world progresses towards the new reality, we will be ramping up again to bring the 103rd IPM to the Municipality of Kawartha Lakes. Centred at the Lindsay Exhibition Grounds, we also look forward to working with the neighbouring farmers to showcase their resilient and dedicated community.

At the same time, we will be moving forward with plans for the 104th IPM. We are proud to announce that the Municipality of North Grenville and the Grenville Plowmen’s Association will be co-hosting with OPA. Please mark your calendar: Tuesday, September 20th to Saturday, September 24, 2022. We are proud to be highlighting the Kemptville College campus and the neighbouring farms at Kemptville, Ontario.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the 103rd and 104th International Plowing Match and Rural Expo…and beyond. In the meantime, please stay healthy….please stay safe.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any OPA Director or the OPA Office. But please note, as per Provincial Government Regulations, the OPA Office must remain closed --- but we can certainly be reached by the phone, email and mail.

May 22, 2020


New OPA Board of Directors

There are a couple new faces around the Ontario Plowmen’s Association Board of Directors’ table.

Joining the Board are Floyd Wills of Middlesex County, Director for Zone 1, and Essex County resident Rochelle Deslippe, who holds one of three Director-At-Large positions.

Returning for his second term is Director Doug Sturgess of Lanark County in Zone 6, who competed against fellow nominee Ray St. Denis.

All three will begin their duties immediately.

Directors were elected via mail-in ballot. Both Floyd and Rochelle ran in Zone 1 and At-Large. Since Floyd won the zone election, Rochelle was acclaimed to the at-large position (thus no vote required from the general membership).

The Directors have voted to maintain the Executive (President, 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President).

The OPA Board of Directors are:

President Sheila Marshall, At-Large

1st Vice President Don Priest, Zone 4

2nd Vice President Robert McClean, Zone 5

Past President David Murray, At-Large

Floyd Wills, Zone 1

Melvin Switzer, Zone 2

Margaret Vincent, Zone 3

Doug Stugess, Zone 6

Rochelle Deslippe, At-Large


 

Convention, Annual Meeting Postponed

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, the Ontario Plowmen’s Association Board of Directors has POSTPONED the Convention and Annual Meeting scheduled for March 26 to 29 at the Arden Park Hotel in Stratford. We will continue to monitor this health situation to determine when the Convention and Annual Meeting can be re-scheduled.

In the meantime, please call the hotel directly to cancel your accommodations - 519-275-2936 or 1-877-788-8818.

UPDATE: Our Directors will hold a weekly teleconferences. At that time, they will determine how to handle registration payments/refunds, elections, re-scheduling the Annual Meeting, etc.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the OPA Office or speak with any OPA Director:

Sheila Marshall, President                      519-276-0174

Don Priest, 1st Vice-President                705-721-7080

Robert MacLean, 2nd Vice-President    613-583-1748

David Murray, Past President                 905-577-7629

Rochelle Deslippe                                  519-551-8361

Douglas Sturgess                                   613-371-8044

Melvin Switzer                                        519-428-7610

Margaret Vincent                                    519-531-0803

Floyd Wills                                              519-461-1547 

OPA Office                                             519-767-2928 or 1-800-661-7569

Thank you for your understanding. We believe this decision, while a difficult one to make, is in the best interests of our members.

Yours truly,

ONTARIO PLOWMEN’S ASSOCIATION


A look back at IPM 2019

First and foremost, thank you to everyone involved in making the 2019 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) happen – from volunteers and vendors to competitors, sponsors and visitors. It was a great success and that wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Aerial photo of IPM 2019 Tented City

This awesome event was also aided by Mother Nature, who provided five straight days of sunshine and warm temperatures to help bring out large crowds.

“Our primary strategic objective when we set out to create this was to host the greatest Plowing Match in the history of mankind. I’m proud to say … I think we’ve done it,” said IPM 2019 Chair Neil Fox, expressing gratitude for the “wonderful, magical volunteers” who were involved with the five-day event. “They put in so many hours, so much blood, sweat and tears (into this).”

More than two years of planning went into hosting IPM 2019, with more than 1,200 volunteers helping bring it all together.

Among the many event highlights are a visit from Amber Marshall, star of CBC’s Heartland; a performance from Justin Tyler, runner-up in the 2019 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase; about 150 BMO Plowing Competition participants; the Northeastern Ontario Pavilion; and the crowing of Wellington County’s Heidi Frey as the 2019/2020 Ontario Queen of the Furrow.

The IPM also featured dozens of entertainers – largely local talent – and demonstrations, such as fashion shows, spread out among three stages. Another major attraction was the full 450 vendor/exhibitor spaces offering a variety of large and small equipment, rural living items, an array of food and much more.

“What a wonderful week we’ve had here,” commented Sheila Marshall, President of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, the parent hosts of the IPM. “They say if you build it, people will come. And as we have found this week, people have come … from all across the province of Ontario.”

As is tradition, IPM 2019 concluded with the passing of the flags to representatives of IPM 2020, to be held in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes from Oct. 14 to 17, 2020.

“What an event you put on here in Verner. You should give yourselves a round of applause,” said Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham. “Thanks for having us up here. Thanks for the incredible job you did and I hope to see you all down in Lindsay in the City of Kawartha Lakes next year.”

Our photos of IPM 2019


Wellington County woman named Ontario Queen of the Furrow

Drayton’s Heidi Frey is the next Ontario Queen of the Furrow. She was selected to wear the crown during the 2019 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Verner, West Nipissing.Ontario Queen of the Furrow Heidi Frey

“I can’t believe this is real. I’m so honoured to be chosen out of this amazing group of girls that I’ve gotten to spend the last couple of days with,” she said after her coronation on Friday, Sept. 20.

“I look forward to working with the Kawartha Lakes committee for 2020.”

As Ontario Queen of the Furrow, one of Heidi’s responsibilities is to promote IPM 2020, which is set for Oct. 14 to 17 in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes.

Eighteen Ontario Queen of the Furrow contestants, each selected to represent their region of the province, were accompanied by three judges during two days of competition at IPM 2019. They were assigned points based on appearance and deportment, plowing abilities, an interview and a speech on an agriculture-related topic delivered on the Main Stage in front of a large crowd of IPM visitors.

The top five contestants were attributed additional points based on an impromptu speech delivered during the Celebration of Excellence banquet at West Nipissing Community & Recreation Centre – Marcel Noel Hall (219 O’Hara Street, Sturgeon Falls).

The other five finalists were:

Anna Lennox of Grey-Normanby (runner-up)

Zoe Dauphinais of West Nipissing (second runner-up)

Samantha Reid of Hastings

Grace Mullen of Essex

Heidi, 20, is a second-year student at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. She’s set to graduate with an Associate Diploma in Agriculture at the end of the current school year.

“I’m hoping afterward to get a job based in agronomy and eventually obtain my CCA (Certified Crop Advisor), which basically means I make recommendations to farmers,” she explained.

Heidi’s family was in the dairy business but sold their quota several years ago and now runs an ag retail business.

“That’s where I got my love of cropping from,” she said with a smile.

In her new role, Heidi will act as an ambassador for Ontario agriculture, travelling the province and attending events to promote the IPM and the Ontario Plowmen’s Association. She will continue her reign until the 2020 IPM, at which time a new Ontario Queen of the Furrow will be crowned.

“Being Ontario Queen of the Furrow has honestly been one of the best years of my life,” said Oxford County’s Derika Nauta, the 2018/2019 Ontario Queen of the Furrow. “I will cherish these memories forever.”

Sterling’s Samantha Reid was chosen by her fellow 2019-20 Ontario Queen of the Furrow contestants to receive the title of Miss Friendship.

“We’re all so proud to support wholeheartedly the OPA, the IPM and the Ontario Queen of the Furrow competition,” said Lisa Hunter, manager of marketing and communications for the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, which sponsors the program. “This is a program that offers so much to our future leaders in agriculture. It’s a great pleasure to say we play a small part in that.”

The IPM is organized by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA), in conjunction with a local committee. It is held in a different community every year, offering five days of competitions, live entertainment, hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, children’s activities, antique and historical displays, and much more. The Ontario Queen of the Furrow competition has been a part of the IPM since 1960.

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Mark Your Calendars!

103rd IPM in 2021
Wednesday, October 13 to
Saturday, October 16
Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes

 

104th IPM in 2022
Tuesday, September 20 to
Saturday, September 24
Kemptville, North Grenville


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World Ploughing Organization

Farm Family Awards



 

 

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