She’ll spend the next year travelling to ag events and engaging with the community
By Diego Flammini
Maranda Klaver is Ontario’s 2022 Queen of the Furrow.
“It’s still so surreal to me,” she told Farms.com. “At one point I didn’t think I was going to get to go to the (International Plowing Match) because of the pandemic and here I am standing there crowned the new queen. It was so amazing.”
The 24-year-old represented Huron County in the competition at the IPM in North Grenville along with queens representing their local communities.
Becoming the Queen of the Furrow was a goal Klaver set for herself.
Her older sister, Samantha, is a former Huron County Queen of the Furrow.
In 2012, Maranda became the local Princess of the Furrow and told people in her community she’d wear the Ontario crown one day.
“It was funny because I had a plowmen’s association members reminding me that I said those things,” she said.
Maranda Klaver receives her crown. Betty Cooper photo.
The young women at the 2022 IPM showcased their skills in multiple disciplines.
They plowed, interviewed and presented speeches on an agricultural topic.
Klaver’s speech focused on mental health.
“Mental health is the elephant in the room when it comes to farming,” Klaver said. “I had a big balloon elephant on stage with me and referred to it during my speech. I talked about how the conversations about mental health have changed, especially since the pandemic started. There seems to be more of a light on the topic than a stigma attached to it.”
Klaver’s reign as queen will last one year.
During that time, she’ll travel the province to promote the 2023 IPM in Dufferin County and highlight issues important to her.
“I’m going to continue being an advocate for women in agriculture,” she said. “I’ll also get to go to local matches across Ontario and promote the Ontario Plowmen’s Association.”
Klaver wants women to feel welcome in the ag sector.
Farms.com spoke with her in July 2021 after she noticed multiple women were lined up to unload at her local co-op.
Though Ontario agriculture remains a male-dominated industry (49,490 male operators compared to 20,895 female operators in the 2021 Census of Agriculture), women are important members of the ag community, she said.
“Women are able to do anything they set their minds to,” she said. “Just because women are the minority doesn’t mean they shouldn’t pursue something they’re passionate about.”
Anyone interested in following Klaver’s journey as Queen of the Furrow can follow her on Twitter.