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Ontario Plowman

100th IPM this week!

Grey Roots

The 2013 International Plowing Match, which is being held in Perth County near Mitchell from September 17-21, marks 100 years for the IPM! In honour of this centennial occasion, Grey Roots takes a look back at the four occasions when the IPM was held in Grey County.

The 1933 Match was held October 10-13 on the Barber farm, located four miles southwest of Owen Sound, in the former Township of Derby (now part of the Township of Georgian Bluffs). This location is quite close to Grey Roots, on the block south-east of the by-pass intersection at Mennonite Corners.

The 1962 IPM was also held October 10-13, and again on the Barber property and neighbouring farms. The Grey County Plowman’s Association invitation letter to equipment dealers stated that the “high location and exceptional drainage stand to counter unfavorable weather, especially underfoot” and mentioned for the “Algoma and Manitoulin folk” that the “Ferry Boats and Cruise Ships will adjust their schedules at that time”. The letter also noted 1959 Statistical Branch Ontario Department of Agriculture findings, placing Grey County first in Ontario in: the number of beef cows and yearlings, calves, sheep, horses, hay production, total number of farms and the highest annual normal precipitation; as well as a leader in improved farm land acreage, total number of cattle on farms, milk cows, swine, mixed grain production and value of all field crops, and apple production.

“Grey will be Heaven in 87” was the slogan for the September 15-19 match at the Lowe property and neighbouring farms two miles west of Meaford on Grey Road 12 in the former St. Vincent Township (now part of the Municipality of Meaford). Articles appearing in the Owen Sound Sun Times around the time of the match celebrated Betsy Halliday, a native of the former Sullivan Township (now part of the Township of Chatsworth) who was the first woman to compete in the Match in 1933.

“The Future of Tradition” match was held September 22-26, 2004, west of Meaford, a $3 million show on a 240 hectare site with a tent city of more than 500 exhibitors… and there were still plowing grounds of course!

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