Robert Jones of North Augusta holds the reins of Percherons Pete and May, while Mel Karpenko, 2024 Ontario Queen of the Furrow, is in the driver’s seat. Thompson Goddard Photo

BERWICK – The Stormont County Plowing Match (SCPM) has become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition and the 2023 edition, hosted by Steve and Anne-Marie Saunders and held at 14595 Concession 3-4 in North Stormont on Oct. 7, was once again a successful event. 

Stormont Plowmens Association (SPA) president Kelsey Smith and SPA secretary Alyssa Waldroff organized the event. Smith reported there were 32 plowers and they mentioned the rain hadn’t affected the event’s attendance.

“Despite the rain we had a great turnout and another great day in the field,” said Smith. On behalf of the SPA, Smith expressed thanks to participants and visitors who attended the event. “Thank you to our sponsors and dedicated members! It isn’t possible without them,” commented Waldroff. Haleigh-Jo TePlate was crowned the 2024 Stormont County Queen of the Furrow and the competition winners were announcement during the banquet held that evening.

The 2024 Ontario Queen of the Furrow Mel Karpenko from Dufferin County attended the event.  Karpenko was crowned at the 2023 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, representing the Peel-Dufferin Plowmen’s Associaton. “It was extra-special because it was at home and there was a lot of support from the local association,” commented Karepenko. She mentioned the enjoyment she had at meeting with the other Queen of the Furrows during the IPM as well as touring Dufferin County with them. She is looking forward to touring the province and promoting plowing as well as women in agriculture. 

An integral part of any plowing match are the judges who attend and determine the winners at the event. At the 2023 SCPM judge Jacob McGuire and his father Mathew were two of the judges, carrying on a family tradition of judging at plowing matches, including IPM judging. With three years as an IPM judge, McGuire explained his grandfather and father were both IPM judges, with his father currently having approximately 30 years of experience as an IPM judge. At one time there were four generations of his family competing in plowing matches and he began entering competitions when he was around five or six.