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

Seeking family recipes for the IPM 2020 cookbook

Submission deadline extended until Aug. 1

One of the most important first steps of hosting the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) is to capture the flavour … quite literally. Organizers of IPM 2020 - set for Kawartha Lakes, at and around the Lindsay Fairgrounds - have issued a call for families throughout the province to share their favourite recipes.

Recipes will be complied into a keepsake cookbook that proves to be a popular seller every year. Here’s your opportunity to have your recipes published and preserved for generations to come. Let the world know what tickles your taste buds!

Recipe categories are: Appetizers & Beverages, Soups & Salads, Vegetables & Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Breads, Desserts, Canning, and Odds & Ends. Recipes can only go in one category, so please select the most suitable one.

To submit your recipes, visit www.cookbookprinter.com. Login with username “OPA” and password “IPM2020”, then select the “Add Recipe” button. Please be sure to include your name with your submission.

Not all submissions will be included in the IPM 2020 Cookbook, though we thank everyone for their entries. In the case of identical recipes chosen, multiple submitter names will be listed. Please, don’t upload any colour photos with your recipe.

The deadline for recipe submissions is Aug, 1, 2019. The cookbook is expected to be ready for sale during IPM 2019, to be held in Verner, West Nipissing from September 17 to 21.


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.


Gearing up for IPM 2019 in Verner, West NipissingAerial photo of IPM 2009 in Earlton

The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) is heading back to Northern Ontario. Join us as for all the fun as we check out West Nipissing's agricultural abundance for IPM 2019, Sept. 17 to 21 in the community of Verner.

Don't miss Tented City with its 500+ exhibitors and vendors, live performances on multiple stages,agricultural attractions – from historic displays/equipment to the latest technology – rural living demonstrations, food of all sorts and much, much more.

Enjoy the horse and tractor plowing competitions and follow along as we find out who will be the next Ontario Queen of the Furrow.

With so much to see and do, plan to spend more than one day!

Advance tickets are on sale now for the discounted price of $15 per adult per day. The price goes up to $20 at the gate. Whether you buy them now or at the gate, children’s admission costs $5 each per day.

Tickets can be purchased online, in person, over the phone and by mail.

Wondering where to stay? 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.

IPM 2019 Official Poster

IPM 2019 is expected to attract 80,000+ people for a five-day celebration of agriculture and the rural lifestyle. The Ontario Plowmen’s Association and Local Committee are working hard at scheduling events and activities for people of all ages. Check back here or visit the IPM 2019 page for information as it is released.

There’s no need to wait until September to pick up your IPM 2019 souvenirs or cookbook. Take a look at the wide variety of offerings online and find out how to add them to your collection.

This year marks the IPM’s second visit to Northern Ontario in its more than 100-year history. It was held in Earlton, Timiskaming to rave reviews in 2009. That event saw about 83,000 attend, generating about $21 million in economic impact for the area (based on Ministry of Tourism formulas).

As always, we’d like to thank our presenting sponsors – BMO Bank of Montreal, the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association and Hydro One.


An event of this scale couldn’t be pulled off without generous sponsor support.

There’s a wide range of sponsorship levels available, learn more here.

Government funding has been provided by Fed/Nor, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Province of Ontario, as well as the Municipality of West Nipissing.


Their actions speak volumes

Volunteers celebrated for their community contributions

It’s all about setting a good example … for their children and others in the community.

That’s what inspires these two busy women to contribute as much as they do, and they do a lot.  For their efforts, Cynthia Guindon of Verner and Amy Schoppmann of St-Charles recently received Volunteer Recognition Awards, presented by their local MP, Marc Serré.

Volunteer Recognition Award pinBoth Amy and Cynthia are extremely active in their community and have taken on leadership roles in bringing the International Plowing Match & Rural Expo (IPM) to Northern Ontario this September – another volunteer venture. They were among 20 people to take part in a recent ceremony to celebrate outstanding community contributions.

“I would like to congratulate each and every one of these 20 exemplary individuals for their community involvement, their leadership and being an inspiration to us all,” says MP Serré, who represents the Nickle Belt riding, in a news release. “We all have something to learn from these 20 dedicated leaders. I wish them all the best for achieving their goals in 2019 and much more! Bravo!”

The awards are presented annually to celebrate the dedication of volunteers to the well-being of their community.

Despite being a nurse and a mother of four, Amy still finds time to pitch in at her children’s school, organizing fundraisers such as the Bears Fish Fry, the Christmas parade, bake sales and more. In fact, she was nominated for this award by the school principal and secretary.Amy Schoppmann receives a Volunteer Recognition Award from MP Marc Serre

“I just have a passion for helping others,” Amy says. “It’s very humbling to be nominated for such an award. I don’t expect anything for what I do. I do it because I love to do it.”

Amy is also co-chair of Tented City for the upcoming IPM set for Sept. 17 to 21 in Verner, West Nipissing.

“It’s a huge event that will greatly benefit the community and surrounding areas,” she says of the IPM. “It’s important that everybody in the community is involved.”

Cynthia agrees.

“It’s one of the most amazing experiences that our community could have and I want this event to be a success,” she says. “I’m trying to get my fellow people in the community to get involved also.”

To learn about volunteer opportunities at the IPM, visit www.plowingmatch.org/ipm2019/get-involved/volunteer/.

Cynthia’Cynthia Guidon receives a Volunteer Recognition Award from MP Marc Serres community contributions have included five years as a volunteer firefighter and donating her time with the Verner Minor Hockey Association, including serving as trainer for the novice team. In terms of IPM 2019, she’s the Special Events chair.

Her nomination for the volunteerism award came courtesy a co-worker at Caisse populaire Alliance, where Cynthia is an executive assistant.

“My family has always been really involved,” the mother of two explains of her vast volunteer experience. “If nobody gets involved, nothing happens and I want us to have a great community.

“I believe an involved community gets amazing results.”

The International Plowing Match & Rural Expo is a five-day celebration of agriculture and rural living. It features plowing competitions, live entertainment, hundreds of exhibitors, demonstrations, antique equipment, the newest technologies and much more.

Bringing with it an economic impact of about $25 million, the IPM is held in a different community each year and attracts about 80,000 people.

For more information about the IPM, visit www.plowingmatch.org/ipm2019/.

- by Richard Vivian


Advance gate tickets for IPM 2019 available online, by phone, by mail and in person

Advance gate tickets for the 2019 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo are available now.

IPM 2019 runs Sept. 17 to 21 in Verner, West Nipissing (near North Bay). This annual five-day celebration of agriculture and rural living features plowing competitions, a range of activities for people of all ages, near-constant live entertainment in multiple Match venues, hundreds of vendors and a wide variety of food … the list goes on.

It’s the largest event of its kind in North America. With so much to see and do, plan to spend more than one day!

Advance gate tickets cost $15 each for adults (age 16 and older) and $5 each for children (ages 6 to 15) per day. This is the first year advance tickets for children are available. Children age five and younger are admitted at no cost.

New this year, tickets are available online at www.ipm-2019.com. Our online store accepts VISA, Master Card, AMEX and Apple Pay. There’s a $1 service fee per ticket when purchased online.

Alternatively, you can give the Ontario Plowmen’s Association a call at 1.800.661.7569 to order tickets or stop by our office at 188 Nicklin Road in Guelph, or 30 Front Street in Sturgeon Falls to pick some up.

You can also download an order form, fill it out and mail it to:

Ontario Plowmen’s Association

188 Nicklin Road

Guelph, Ontario

N1H 7L5

If you wait to buy them at the gate, tickets cost $20 each for adults and $5 each for children per day.

Once ordered, we’ll do our best to get your tickets in the mail as soon as possible, but a timeline for delivery depends on Canada Post.

Lampton County Scholarship Winners
This year's Lambton International Plowing Match ‘91 Trust Fund scholarship recipients were named during the Brigden Fair in October. From left, fund trustee Bill Bilton, recipient Jessica Kennedy, recipient Clayton Shaw and fund trustee Bryan Boyle. Scholarship recipient Megan McGrail wasn't able to attend. Photo by Paul Morden, The Sarnia Observer

IPM leaves 'living legacy' in communities 

Event proceeds used to create scholarships, grants

It’s been more than a quarter-century since the International Plowing Match (IPM) was held in Lambton County, Ontario but the event’s success continues to benefit the community. And Lambton isn’t alone –several IPM-funded grants and scholarships are offered throughout the province.

“We wanted something that would be lasting, renewable and has an impact,” explains Bryan Boyle, who was on the IPM 1991 executive committee and serves as a trustee for the Lambton International Plowing Match ‘91 Trust Fund scholarship program. “Over 27 years, we’ve now given away more than the principal and we still have all the principal.”

The trust was launched using $103,000 in IPM proceeds (profits are always distributed within the host community, as directed by the local executive committee). Interest earned on that investment is awarded annually to three second-year, post-secondary students from Lambton County.

By disbursing only the interest, the scholarship is designed to continue “indefinitely”, notes Boyle.

The precise amount of the scholarship fluctuates based on interest rates, but through the years, $139,400 has been handed out to 103 students (average of $1,353 each).

“The youth is the future of our community,” Boyle continues, noting the scholarship evaluation criteria is “heavily weighted to those who are active in our community.”

Using a portion of profits from the 2005 and 2013 IPMs held in Perth County (about $100,000 in all), a community fund there supports environmental projects impacting farms. The Stratford Perth Community Fund’s International Plowing Match (IPM) Fund has handed out about $2,000 every year since 2006 using interest earned.

“If we ever have the Plowing Match again, we’ll probably put some more money toward that,” says Bert Vorstenbosch Sr., who served as a vice-chair for IPM 2005 and was chair during 2013. He’s also on the nominations committee for the Stratford Perth Community Fund.

“It keeps (memories of) the IPMs alive and it’s a project that keeps on giving,” he says of the grant.

A community grant is also available in Waterloo Region, where the IPM was held in 1995 and 2012 ­- both times in North Dumfries Township. The grant, administered by Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation, was seeded with about $250,000 and $40,000 from the respective IPMs.

Grants are awarded annually to projects that focus on agriculture, health and/or education. Funds come from the interest earned on the principal, minus an inflationary increase.

“We recognized that to make one of these Matches successful we had to involve every age group in our community and so we wanted the results of their effort to be perpetuated in perpetuity so it would respond to the needs of the community into the future,” explains Reg Cressman, who chaired the 1995 IPM.

“We wanted a living legacy.”

Following the 2012 IPM, a $40,000 contribution was also made to the Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation, which operates a similar grant specific to initiatives in North Dumfries.

Like in Lambton, IPM officials in Elgin County established a scholarship following the event in 2010, but they took a different approach. They put aside $50,000 to be handed out to second-year post-secondary students from Elgin during a 10-year period.

Each year $5,000 is made available for two or more students.

“It is a tangible legacy of a real successful event that generated a lot of goodwill in our community,” says Brian Masschaele, Director of Community and Cultural Services for the County of Elgin, which administers the scholarship. “It’s an opportunity to invest back in our youth in the most vital sector of our economy in the hopes that they will continue to reside here and pursue a career in agriculture here in Elgin County.”

Recipients must be actively involved in the local agricultural community and must share their ideas to strengthen the industry in the area.

Though there are several examples of establishing scholarships and long-lasting community grants, most of the time IPM proceeds are distributed to community organizations, agencies and initiatives in the form of one-off donations. Hospitals, service groups and local charities are among the most common recipients.

- by Richard Vivian


2018 Canadian Plowing Competition News

Bert Beyens (Senior Conventional) and Tom Evans (Senior Reversible), both from Ontario, will represent Canada at the 2019 World Ploughing Contest in Minnesota, USA. Ben Henderson (from Ontario) is the new Canadian Junior Champion.


Competitors Attending the 2019 Canadian Championships

The following competitors qualified to represent Ontario at the 2019 Canadian Championships. At the Celebration of Excellence Gala, they were awarded the Graeme, Helen and Michael Craig Special and received a coat and hat on behalf of the Craig family. Congratulations to all the competitors!
Junior: Lucas Townsend and Allison Davenport
Senior Conventional: Brian Davenport and Carman Weppler
Senior Reversible: Tom Evans and Daryl Hostrawser




See you at IPM 2019...
Join us for the fun!


World Ploughing Organization

Farm Family Awards



Keep up with all the latest news!

Like us on Facebook!
Follow us on Twitter!