International Plowing Match (IPM) Visited
by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad)
Over the past several years, Judi and I have visited a number of International Plowing Matches.
The International Plowing Match (IPM) is held annually but at a different Ontario location each time.
For this article, I am using the photos taken on our latest IPM visit.
Although each location is different and the IPM events and displays are unique, all IPM’s have the same purpose and the same intense planning!
A good friend of ours, Jan Bonhomme, was the IPM Coordinator for the 2007 Leeds-Grenville International Plowing Match.
I won’t bore you with the details, but Jan described that the planning of an IPM event was like building a new community in less then 3 years!
There’s so much that goes into the planning and execution of such an event.
It all starts years before the actual event.
First the location has to be chosen.
Then land has to be secured.
Once that’s done, then the “real fun” begins!
Volunteers have to be found. Permits have to be obtains. Planning needs to go forward. So much work, so little time!
Ask any of the IPM Coordinators or their volunteers, and they will tell you have much work and thought needs to be done, just to get the project started and completed.
The small details are staggering, but…
… the resulting IPM event is spectacular!
As I mentioned, Judi and I have been to a number of IPM events, and have never been disappointed.
Yes, weather can be a factor – too much rain, too hot, too cold, but there is always the excitement of the event!
Whether your a “seasoned rural guy or girl” or a “city slicker“, there something there for you.
There is, of course, the Plowing Match, fun to watch the “skills” of the “ploughmen”
The Plowing Match (and as I said, fun to watch) is important, but the IPM offers so much more.
I’ll try to give you some idea of what we experienced at our most recent visit.
Our first experience was how the IPM moved visitors from the parking lots to the IPM grounds.
Once we were on the grounds, its was a maze of “streets” and “tents” (large and small).
The “streets” were named so that visitors could find there way around the grounds. There was also a large street map showing “what was where“!
Inside the larger tents there was everything from “farm displays” to “area exhibits“.
In one of the larger tents food and beverages were being offered.
Among the larger tents, streets smaller exhibitor tents were set up, each offering visitors information about their products or services.
Scattered throughout the grounds you could see and “checkout” large farm machinery.
There were special tents too. The 100 year “history” of the International Plowing Match was on display.
As you can imagine, the IPM has so much history!
Another special enclosure was for concerts that were being held throughout the IPM.
Finally as we started back our car, I saw that large amount of people in stadium seats. I went over to investigate.
A motorcycle demonstration was taking place.
I watched in amazement for a while and then started for the car. Judi had already reached it!
If you have never been to the International Plowing Match, you should. It’s a great experience for the whole family. Perhaps we’ll see you at one.