Plowing ahead to IPM kickoff

Nelson Zandbergen, Editor of the Chesterville Record and Eastern Ontario AgriNews, checks out his work Sept. 9, 2015 after the ceremonial plowing of the first furrow during Media Day at the International Plowing Match site in Finch, Ont. The plowing match is Sept. 22-26, 2015. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

FINCH – The chairman of the United Counties’ “showcase” event is hoping lasting memories will be created like the one 57 years ago.

Jim Brownell was talking about the plowing match of 1958 and, with the International Plowing Match & Rural Expo later this month, it will make three times SD&G has hosted such an event.

“It’s as vivid today in my mind (the plowing match of 1958),” Brownell recounted.

The other match was in 1936.

Brownell spoke during Media Day Wednesday, a upbeat event to thank the organizers and sponsors, and also give reporters a taste of what’s to come in less than two weeks.

The media was shuffled out on tractor-drawn wagons to the tented city on the 92 acre alfalfa field owned by Armin and Monica Kagi, which has been transformed into streets and boulevards.

With over 300 hydro poles, 19 kilometers of wire and five weeks of work, a Hydro One Networks rep said setting up for the plowing match was like “setting up a small city.”

North Stormont Mayor Dennis Fife said everybody is getting in the spirit of IPM and are making SD&G proud. “People who haven’t mowed their lawns in two months are out there mowing,” he joked.

SD&G Warden and North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan also talked about the significance of this event. “There is no single event bigger than this in the history of the United Counties to showcase this area,” he said.

For outsiders, many may not understand the logistics of such an event and that having hundreds of volunteers working collectively went “seamlessly for the most part,” Duncan added.

Brownell stated this project “started as a dream” in 2012 after a call from Jeff Waldroff and turned into an event that could possibly be the biggest agriculture center in North America if not the world.

The event wrapped up with a ceremonial plowing of the first furrow and tours of the site.

The International Plowing Match & Rural Expo runs Sept. 22-26 on Concession 3-4 Road, two kilometers north of Finch.

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