“Pride in plowing is alive and well in Lambton County.“
Those were the words Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP Bev Shipley used in a letter to Lambton County Plowmen’s Association chair Dennis Bryson praising the association’s efforts at maintaining the plowing tradition in Lambton County.
While Shipley was not able to be there, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton and Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey were both on the grounds along with a number of Lambton County council members.
Chair Dennis Bryson said this year’s match, held on the Watford-area farm of Mark Williams, attracted a good field of contenders in all classes.
“I was especially pleased to see the large number of young people that competed in this year’s match,” he said.
Speaking at the awards banquet following the match, Bryson thanked his committee for its work in hosting the match and noted the generous financial contributions and donations of door prizes made by the business community throughout Lambton County.
“I want to especially thank the general public for coming out as well,” he said, adding that the match attracted a good number of spectators from all areas of the county.
Judge Steve Speller noted that the weather co-operated and plowing conditions were good with the farm being flat and relatively free of stones. “We saw a lot of good plowing today, a lot of straight plowing,” he said.
Speller added that he was also impressed with not only the number of young people who participated but also on the quality of their plowing. “We had a good showing of young plowmen and I’m encouraged by that,” he said.
St. Clair Township mayor Steve Arnold brought greetings on behalf of Warden Todd Case and Lambton County council.
Arnold congratulated the plowmen’s association on its commitment to organizing the event each year.
“This is one of the event’s that keeps the rural component of Lambton County together and very much alive,” he said.
Arnold noted that deputy warden Bev MacDougall plowed that day and did very well even though she had grown up in the city and had never been on a tractor before.“ It’s great to see that rural/urban mix coming together,” he said.
“It was just super to see that, it was a positive experience that she will spread throughout the urban areas of Lambton County.”
Lambton Queen of the Furrow Jen Vanden Ouweland, who will represent Lambton County at the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo gave an update on her activities, noting that she has participated in a number of rural events this summer and had been present at all the local fall fairs. She said she was looking forward to competing with others for the honour of being the IPM Queen of the Furrow.
Also present was Ontario Federation of Agriculture vice-president Don McCabe who said it was great to have events like the Lambton County Plowing Match as a venue to celebrate what made Canada great.“ Everyone should remember that agriculture is now Canada’s number-one industry and as farmers we should not be shy about letting people know that,” he said.
Willis Wardell was presented with the top prize in the Class A plowing event, while Best Land Plowed by a Lambton County resident went to Dennis Bryson. Best Land Plowed by a junior went to 10-year-old Mathew Sterling of Chatham-Kent.