Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari does her best to follow instructions from coach Allen Hills as part of the VIP Plowing at the Ottawa Carleton Plowing Match held Aug. 26-27 in Ashton. Photo Credit: Linda Payant

ASHTON – The Ottawa Carleton Plowmen’s Association (OCPA) Plowing Match managed to avoid being part of the morning-long rainfall that swept through the Ottawa Valley on Fri., Aug. 26.

The plowing competition, held at Kings Creek Farm in Ashton, home of Dave and Bonnie Ostrom kicked off with a VIP plowing match followed by a lunch.

Master of ceremonies for the event was former MP Bill Tupper who has been involved with OCPA matches since the 1990s.

“It was a natural assignment for me as the VIP plowing, as the Ottawa Carleton Plowman’s Association has recognized, often included people who have a political background. I had no problem getting along with them and encouraging them.”

Tupper and Richard McDonald of Manotick worked as a team guiding the VIP events.

“We were a good team,” said Tupper.

This particular VIP event was very successful, “Particularly because our host family wanted to do it,” said Tupper.

The Friday kick off was fun for everyone involved and match organizers appreciated the work their hosts, Dave and Bonnie Ostrom put into it.

Sharen Armstrong, the president of the OCPA and a recipient of the Mayors City of Ottawa, Ottawa Builder Award said she was happy about the event.

“It’s wonderful. It has been fabulous,” she said. “The Ostroms have been amazing. They asked us to come here, we did not have to go searching for a place this year.”

Armstrong said people are clearly happy to be out again after the restrictions of the pandemic.

The Ostrom’s worked as a team to get ready for the plowing match.

“This is the first time we have done this,” said Dave. “The committee came out last fall and looked around and I had some ideas, and they were receptive to all of them.”

He said, “It takes a great amount of organization and planning. My wife is awesome with the food department, and I have some friends who are helpful with displays.”

The couple planned to look after and feed around 80 guests.

Olstrom said, “I think it is working. We went to great lengths to search out products and food that was tied to agriculture. We had a really good response from all of the different agriculture sectors, and everyone wanted to participate.”

After the VIP plowing match, a statement from OCPA organizers detailed the winners.

“From a field of 20 local VIPs, the 1st place winner was Nagmani Sharma, municipal electoral candidate for West Carleton Ward; in 2nd was Stephen Blais – MPP, Orléans; and third was Catherine Kitts, Cumberland ward councillor.”

On Sat., Aug. 27, the plowing match began in earnest.

There were thirty-six competitors taking part in the match. There were different categories for plowers to compete in, including modern and vintage tractors and horses.

The judge for the day was Allan Carruthers and the steward was Lawrence Payne.

Sharen Armstrong in an OCPA press release stated: “The participation and caliber of competition was outstanding this year with 36 plowers – one of our largest competitions to date,” said Sharen Armstrong, OCPA president. “Our thanks [is] extended to our gracious hosts, Bonnie and Dave Ostrom, as well as to our volunteers, plowers, and sponsors – the Ottawa Beef Farmers and the Ottawa Valley Pork Producers.”

Jean Marc Dessaint of Sarsfield placed top-of-class in the Antique Tractor Class (open split required) Trail Plows 1946 – 1960; Best Plowed Land (Overall); Best Antique Plow Person; Best Open Split; and Best Finish. In the Antique Tractor Class (open split require) Trail Plows Prior to 1945 Jean-Guy Thivierge of Hammond took top honours. He also won Best Crown. Rounding off the Antique Division were Nicole Calande of Alfred in the Antique Mounted Plow Class and Josef Bloderer of Mountain in the Reversible Plows – Open Class.

In the Horse Classes, William Machabee of St. Albert won Jointer Plow Amateur and Best Plowed Land (20 years and under), while Samuel Bourgon of St. Isidore won the Jointer Plow Open, and Champion Horse Plowperson, with Lyle Killeen of Carp taking the Sulky Plow Class.

In the conventional division, Hunter Chown of Wolfe Island won 2-Furrow Mounted Plow – Open (open split required) 21 years and over, as well as Best Plowed Land.

The Oldest Plowing Tractor award went to Marven Dillon of Ottawa for his 1940 Minneapolis Moline tractor.

All plowers must compete at local matches to be eligible to advance to the International Plowing Match (IPM) and Rural Expo to be held in Kemptville, Sept. 20-24 at the former Kemptville College of Agriculture & Technology (KCAT) campus. Plans are also progressing for IPM 2023 to be held in Dufferin County and IPM 2024 in Kawartha Lakes (Lindsay).