The annual Hastings County Plowing Match and Farm Show rang in 28 years Wednesday and for the first time ever the two-day event plowed its way north of Highway 7.
The show kicked into high gear in the morning drawing hundreds of farmers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the region to take in plowing competitions, 300 exhibits, machinery demonstrations, an antique tractor parade, Queen of the Furrow and entertainment.
This year’s event was hosted at Cornervue Farms in Queensborough by father and son farming duo Donald and Angus McKinnon. The farm sits about 10 minutes north of Madoc and has been in the family for five generations since 1851. It was once a dairy farm but the family made the decision a few years back to switch to a cash crop business. Angus McKinnon said two years ago they were kind of reluctant to host the show after a committee member said no one would travel north of 7 for the event. He beamed about their decision to go ahead and said over the two days they expect 20,000 people to attend.
Event spokesman Jim Haggerty said he predicts 10,000 came through the gates on day one.
Haggerty, who has been to all 28 shows, said he enjoys the opportunity to get out and visit with neighbours, see what is going on in farming including the latest technology and just see others enjoying themselves.
He said the McKinnon farm was a great spot to host the event, easy to get to and a great piece of land to work on.
Hastings County Warden Rick Phillips touted the show as one of the best in the country thanks to the organizers, exhibitors and volunteers.
Thursday’s event will feature the Queen of the Furrow event where current Queen Brittany Dracup will hand down her crown to one of three 2016 contestants: Denise Downey, Ally Ingram and Janessa Reid. The three competed in a plowing competition today and will be interviewed, plus deliver a speech tomorrow, before one is crowned 2016 Queen of the Furrow.
Doors open at 9 a.m. with the show closing at 4 p.m.