NORTH STORMONT — Competitors at the Oct. 6 Stormont County Plowing match are giving a thumbs up to a site proposed for horse plowing at the 2015 International Plowing Match near Finch.
"We wanted to see how the ground plowed for horses in that area.
"We were concerned there would be tough clay, but it wasn’t that bad. It plowed quite well," said Jeff Waldroff, president of the Stormont County Plowmen and member of the IPM committee.
Heavy rain the previous evening and drizzle that morning had left the Kagi farm south of Conc. 3-4 muddy, but tillable and the sun helped dry the land that afternoon.
"It think it will be a lovely site. There weren’t any stones," said Gabriel Lecavalier of Mountain in Dundas County, who won a first in horse plowing with Rosa and Tiny. "The only thing concerns me is the narrow road because about 80,000 people will be coming to the IPM."
According to North Stormont Mayor Dennis Fife, there are definite plans to widen and surface the township road in time for the international match and the township will work towards getting grants for it.
An annual competitor in the Stormont County match, Ron Stinson of Kemptville rated the Kagi site eight out of ten, higher than Roseville, where he competed in tractor plowing at this year’s IPM.
And Joyce Buckley rated the site nine out of ten. "It’s very nice land if it stays moist. It’s the first time I’ve plowed radish. Wheat was on here before they took the grain off."
The Oct. 6 match drew plowmen from around the area, and garnered a lot of interest from spectators and participants alike.
"We had very strong support from all the plowmen. We only have between 12 and 13 Stormont County plowmen, but there were 42 from outside. Some came from Glengarry and Dundas. We appreciated that they came out on such an awful morning. We also had the biggest turnout for the banquet in years, with 72 to 73 attending," Waldroff said.
Owners of Redlodge Farms Inc. Armin and Monica Kagi say they were approached, since the IPM needs a dairy farm site.
"Tented city should be on grass land. If there’s a lot of rain, it should be good land so it doesn’t get too muddy," Monica said.
She added the horse-plowing site is important, since this is a big draw for spectators.
"This plowing match is a sample of what is to come. It will be good for business and the economy. It will be good for the farming community and the whole community," she commented.
The IPM site selection was also based on three phase hydro availability and accessibility to enough water for the trailer park and tented city, also for its proximity to the City of Cornwall and Morrisburg for their amenities and accommodation.
In addition to plowlands, the Kagis have offered 92 acres for a tented city north of Conc. 3-4 and the O’Donahues have offered 75 acres for a trailer park, further north of tented city and south of Conc. 4-5.
Waldroff said agreements have been made for the tented city and trailer park, but plowing and parking areas have to be sorted out.
"First we have to be sure the landowner is in agreement and everyone’s crops have to be rotated the right way. But it’s in the game plan," he said.
Some 300 acres are needed for plowlands, and some higher plowlands may be used for parking. Rental rates are in place for the tented city and the trailer park and there are different ones for plowlands and parking.
Ontario Plowmen Association general manager Cathy Lasby and past president Bob Hammell saw this site last fall when the executive was looking at two possible IPM locations. This one met the criteria best. On Oct. 27, the OPA executive plan to see it again.
The committee is still looking for a poster of the 1958 IPM at the Cloutier farm near Crysler.
If you know about an historic poster, please call the Waldroffs at 613-346-5472.