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Canadian plowing championships a success

photo by Nancy Abra
From left, town crier Bill Paul; CanPlow 2014 committee chair Donna Telfer; committee chair Steven O’Neil, a neighbouring farmer whose property was the site for some of the competition; host farmer and owner of Purple Hill Country Music Hall George Taylor, Middlesex County Warden Joanne VanDerHeyden and Elgin-Middlesex London MPP Jeff Yurek celebrate the success of CanPlow 2014. Turn to Page 9 to see more photos from the event.
by Nancy Abra

      Hosted by Middlesex, Oxford and Brant Counties of the Ontario Plowmen Association, the Canadian plowing championship, CanPlow 2014, was held this past week at the Taylor farm on Purple Hill Road, just east of Thorndale. Sixteen plowmen from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick competed in the contest for the right to represent Canada at the World plowing championships in Denmark next year.

     Ruth Townsend from the Seaforth area said, “I have attended many Canadian plowing championships across Canada and this is the best one by far. These extra activities and attractions are wonderful. Well done.”

     “We had three goals for this event – to welcome you to Ontario with a great location for this competition, to restore the link between the urban and rural residents and third, to honour our forefathers for their hard work that laid the foundation for our well-being, as well as who taught us to be good stewards of this land,” said committee chair Donna Telfer at the opening ceremonies.

     Besides witnessing the best plowing techniques in the country, about 1,200 people of all ages enjoyed the many things to see and do. The artisan tent consisted of demonstrations of spinning, lace making, rug hooking and even a couple of alpacas from Ziraldo alpacas of the Thorndale area. From antique farm equipment and thrashing demonstrations, pony rides, horse plowing and wagon rides to live country music on the outdoor stage, there was something for everyone.

     The Canadian plowing championship consists of three national plowing contests – senior plowing with conventional plows, senior plowing with reversible plows and junior (under 21 years) with conventional plows. In these competitions the plowmen are judged on the finished task of their plowing – how straight the furrows are, how well the furrows fold over, etc., and all of this within a certain period of time. The plowmen bring their own plows, which have to be factory original with no add-ons, but usually the tractor is supplied for them, keeping the cost down for transporting equipment for this competition.

     Winners of the senior competition were Bob Campsall, a cash crop farmer from the Oshawa area in the reversible plow class and Carman Weppler from Clifford, Ontario in the conventional plow class. These two gentlemen will be representing Canada in their classes at the worlds in Denmark in 2015.

     Junior competitor Jay Lennox of Grey County, a first-year college student at Olds College in Alberta, won the junior conventional plowing class. The winner from this class doesn’t go on to the worlds, but they are awarded a scholarship for Olds College in Alberta.

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