Maranda Klaver
Courtesy Photo

By Maranda Klaver
Ontario Queen of the Furrow

A dream come true for a Huron County Queen of the Furrow. This past September after a long 3-year extended reign, I was finally able to attend the International Plowing Match in Kemptville. After two cancelled matches, a lot of uncertainty of the world, an age restriction that slowly grew closer and closer and 600 km, I was finally there.

Finally, the green light was shown and myself along with 12 other Queen of the Furrow contestants were able to compete for the title of the Ontario Queen of the Furrow. To do this we had to all partake in an interview with a panel of three judges, deliver a prepared speech (I chose to speak about mental health in farmers and how it’s the elephant in the room) and plow a section of land. The Top 5 queens would then have to answer an impromptu question; mine was how I felt about being a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry (agriculture). I spoke about how I come from a farming family of five girls with no brothers and since day 1 we’ve known the value of hard work and that it does not matter whether we are male or female, the job still has to get done.

When I heard my name called as the new Ontario Queen of the Furrow it felt surreal. Becoming the Ontario Queen had been a dream of mine since I was 12 but being a pandemic queen, I wasn’t sure it was even possible for me to attend the IPM let alone win. When the crown was placed on my head, a feeling of pride came over me as I realized I had now become the person I used to look up to. I had big shoes to fill, and I was ready for the job!

Since the IPM in Kemptville, I have been very busy with promotion of the 2023 IPM, which will be held in Dufferin County near Orangeville. I have also attended many events and been loving every minute of it. I have attended events like the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Haldimand- Oneida plowing match, talking with local 4-H associations and school kids, which I felt very privileged to do, as today’s youth needs to be invested and interested in getting involved in their community and local plowmens’ association. Local branches annual general meetings are wrapping up and I was fortunate to sit in on a few of those, as well as partake in many Christmas parades.

Huron County has had three prior representatives go on to win the Ontario Queen of the Furrow title and I feel very honoured to be the fourth. A party was held on behalf of Huron plowmens association to celebrate, and it truly feels so great to have so much support behind me especially as I look forward to the year ahead.

Looking forward, I plan to get as involved with Dufferin County Plowmen as I can and make this year’s IPM the best yet. In the 104-year history of the IPM, this is the first time the IPM will be hosted in Dufferin County. Truly something to celebrate. I have already met a handful of local Queen of the Furrow contestants for this year, and I admire all their passion and look forward to being a mentor and friend to every one of them. The queen of the furrow program is a great way to get to connect with like minded individuals and share our love for agriculture, the plowing match and awareness for women in agriculture.