IPM 2018 expected to attract more than 80,000 visitors to Pain Court

Photo released by Kim Cooper.

by Kim Cooper

Well, the time is here for Chatham-Kent to show everyone what we are made of. The 101st Annual International Plowing Match (IPM) and Rural Expo is here. After four years of planning and hard work by hundreds and hundreds of volunteers, we are ready!

This is just not a plowing match for our farming community. This event is for everyone of any age. If you want to enjoy one or two or even five days of insight, entertainment, food, fun, learning, and so much more, you will not want to miss this event.

The last time the IPM was in this area was 1979. I remember volunteering at that event with our local church group. It was massive! I could not believe how large the site of that IPM was.

From September 18 to 22, IPM 2018 will attract more than 80,000 visitors to the village of Pain Court. The IPM is a five-day agricultural celebration that will showcase our important agriculture, business and tourism activities. It will feature plowing competitions, a wide range of performers, displays, demonstrations, education and so much more. Popular attractions will include Chatham-Kent’s own Canadian Cowgirls Precision Drill Team, a rodeo, Team Farmall Dancing Tractors, and a line-up of music acts such as the Canadian Celtic rock favourites MUDMEN.

The mascot of this year’s IPM is Tobe Cobe Jr. (TOmato-BEet-COrn-BEan), a revamp of the original mascot from the 1979 IPM. Tobe Cobe Jr. is an excellent example of how Chatham-Kent really does “Grow for the World,” as our producers grow over 70 different crops, not to mention the many livestock that are raised in our municipality. All this creates a vibrant agricultural economic driving force worth over $3 Billion!

Special events include an Auctioneers’ Challenge (September 21), the Celebration of Excellence Gala (September 21), which will present plowing awards and crown the 2018-19 Ontario Queen of the Furrow, and the BMO Ontario Farm Family Awards (September 22) celebrating accomplishments of eleven Ontario rural families. Two of our local Chatham-Kent farm families, the Bradley family and the Fox family, will be two of the eleven winners.

A huge thank you also needs to go out to the many sponsors that have contributed so much to make this a successful IPM. Make sure to check the list of sponsors and to thank them and even better, purchase some of their products and services.

An exciting new element will be at this year’s IPM, and you can be part of it. The public will be able to participate in helping set several Guinness World Records, including Largest Egg and Spoon Race and Most People Bobbing for Apples at One Time.

All the information, schedules and a site map are in the Official IPM 2018 Show Guide, which is available at any municipal centre and available on the IPM 2018 website at www.plowingmatch.org/ipm2018. For ongoing news, updates and photos of events as they occur, visit the website at www.facebook.com/IPM2018.

The IPM is open Tuesday to Saturday 8:30 am until 5 pm. Tickets are $20 for adults (age 16+) per day, children (age 6-15) are $5 per day, and children age 5 and under are free.

Make sure to come out and have an amazing time right here in our own backyard at the 2018 International Plowing Match!

Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at wegrowfortheworld.com

Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. You can reach him at kim.e.cooper@gmail.com

You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’

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