Perth County hosting centennial Plowing Match
Published Friday, September 6, 2013 5:51PM EDT
There are just ten days left until a farmer's fields east of Mitchell will be overflowing with tractors, people and food for the 100th anniversary of the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo.
On Friday organizers rolled over a few furrows in Perth County to get the IPM 2013 started. But while it took a team of horses in 1913, there's now a 100 horsepower tractor doing the same job.
That's just one change in agriculture since the famed farming showcase first opened its doors to the public 100 years ago.
And Perth County is the perfect location, according to Amanda Brodhagen, Perth County’s Queen of the Furrow.
“We’re just really proud of our agricultural roots in Perth County and we’re often considered the breadbasket of Ontario agriculture.”
But a multi-million dollar production like this doesn't happen overnight or without a lot of people.
About 1,400 volunteers have spent the past four years planning for four days in September and Wilma Demerling is among them.
"Right now it's a full-time job. So the emails, the telephone calls, the door-knocks, and making sure everything’s going to be in place," she says.
Of course it’s not without rewards. If all goes exceptionally well there will as much as half-a-million dollars profit from the spectacle and those proceeds will all stay in the community.
Bert Vorstenbosch, chair of IPM 2013, says "A lot of our profits are because we have so much sponsorship and I know the people that are giving us this sponsorship know that any profits are really well spent, Sick Children’s Hospital, local hospitals- we have three of them and service clubs."
The event runs from September 17th to the 21st and organizers are hoping for anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 visitors.