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International Plowing Match brings rural and urban communities together

By Amanda Brodhagen,

One year after the 100th anniversary of the International Plowing Match (IPM) and Rural Expo was held in Perth County, near Mitchell, Ont., the event lives on. This year the IPM will be held in Simcoe County, near Ivy Ont., from September 16 to 20, 2014.

The theme for the 2014 plowing match “Good Old Days...Modern New Ways,” is fitting as the event showcases agriculture in the area, while providing an opportunity for both rural and urban people to gather to learn and celebrate agricultural history. The art and skill of plowing will be on display at the five-day event which is a staple spectacle of the festival. Plowing will occur with teams of heavy horses and in the more modern fashion with a tractor and plow - highlighting the past and the present.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the event. And there is lots to see and do. Over 800 acres of farmland will be transformed into IPM grounds that will be home to a number of exhibits, displays and plowing ground for competitors. The opening parade will kick off the event, which will start on Tuesday, followed by opening ceremonies. Jennifer Jones - Canada’s most decorated and recognizable female curling athlete, will grace the stage during opening remarks.

Other highlights include a concert by country singer Jason McCoy, which will take place during Saturday’s festivities. McCoy grew up in the area and is originally from Minesing, Ont. Tractor square dancing will also take place at this year's event. The Queen of the Furrow competition will occur throughout the first part of the week, with a new girl being crowned at a banquet dinner on the Thursday night of the match. Ten Ontario farm families will also be recognized at a private event on Saturday for their contributions to the farming community.   

The Simcoe County Plowman’s Association in partnership with the County of Simcoe have been planning the event since 2011, when their bid to host the event was given the nod of approval by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association. The last time the plowing match came to the area was in 1997.

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