International Plowing Match 2016

Town of Minto in the County of Wellington hosted the match this year.

Town of Minto in the County of Wellington hosted the match this year.

Field report & photos by Mike Davis

I went to the International Plowing Match today, Sept. 20, the opening day. This year, the 99th annual match is taking place just off Hwy 9 past Arthur in the town of Minto (Wellington County). The theme is “Fresh Taste of Farming” and the match runs until Sat. Sept 24. Highlights include the RCMP Musical Ride and medieval jousting.  I got there just as the parade was starting and I got a few photos. The first I caught were some members of the RCMP Musical Ride on their horses, each one carrying a red and white flag.

Four members of the RCMP carried flags in the parade.

Four members of the RCMP carried flags in the parade.

The Ontario Liberal Caucus had a float with Premier Kathleen Wynne standing up.

Ontario Liberal Caucus members including Premier Wynne rode in the parade.

Ontario Liberal Caucus members including Premier Wynne rode in the parade.

The provincial NDP also had a float with leader Andrea Horwath sitting at the back of the wagon.

The NDP had fresh farm produce on their float.

The NDP had fresh farm produce on their float.

The Progressive Conservatives may have had a float but I didn’t happen to see it. The Green Party also participated. Many other floats took part, including a popular pair of mini ponies drawing a cart.

Mini ponies drawing a cart always attract attention.

Mini ponies drawing a cart always attract attention.

There were lots of interesting things to see, like the barn quilts inside and outside of a tent. It wasn’t clear why this exhibition was here, but the paintings on boards replicated secret signs such as for safe houses and routes to freedom during slavery days and the Underground Railway. I thought they were worth photographing.

Quilt patterns from slavery days contained secret messages.

Quilt patterns from slavery days contained secret messages.

Robert’s Farm Equipment of Chesley, Lucknow and Mount Forest and Stewart’s Equipment of Erin had exhibitions of Kubota farm equipment among others.

Roberts Farm Equipment displayed their Kubota products.

Roberts Farm Equipment displayed their Kubota products.

Stewart's Equipment shared a large exhibit of Kubota & other products.

Stewart’s Equipment shared a large exhibit of Kubota & other products.

There were plenty of exhibits and demonstrations to spend time with.

Wool spinning demonstrations took place all day long in a couple of locations.

Wool spinning demonstrations took place all day long in a couple of locations.

 I’ve gone to many Plowing Matches and the opening days always draw many Ontario MPPs. A few who know me from the magazine, actually asked me to take their picture while they were waiting outside the opening ceremony tent: Hon. Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Hon. Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure, Hon. Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP for Halton, and Associate Minister of Education, Early Years and Child Care, Sophie Kiwala.

Having fun at the match were Liberal Caucus members Eleanor McMahon,  Indira Naidoo-Harris and

Having fun at the match were Liberal Caucus members Eleanor McMahon, Bob Chiarelli, Indira Naidoo-Harris and Sophie Kiwala.

As I was approaching the media RV just before leaving, three Plowing Match staff members tried to stop me from going in, and just then the door to the RV opened and Premier Wynne came out. I introduced myself to her and was able to snap some photos, including her being “selfied” with the Plowing Match staff.

Match staff members grabbed a selfie with the Premier.

Match staff members grabbed a selfie with the Premier.

After the selfie shot, Premier Wynne was looking good with the young women.

After the selfie shot, Premier Wynne was looking good with the young women.

In total I spent about half a day there, doing a lot of walking around the Schneider farmland and finding lots of things of interest. The Match runs all this week until the end of Saturday, Sept. 24.

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