April showers may bring May’s flowers, but this year, they also rained out the 96th annual BC Plowing Competition. But it’s back on.
“We usually host it on the first Saturday in April,” said Francis Sache, a local dairy farmer and competitive plowman.
“But we had very large amounts of rain and had to postpone the match. But by the time everything dried up, crops had been planted and pushed the competition all the way to the fall.”
However, believing that late is better than never, Sache says the plowing competition will now be held on Saturday, Oct. 6, in conjunction with the fourth annual Rosedale Harvest Celebration.
“The plowing match will be held on McGrath road at the Yale Road intersection,” Sache explained. “Where the parade ends, walk around the corner and the plowing match will be right there.”
As a community with deep roots in agriculture, plowing is an ingrained part of the region’s history, which is why competitions like these still manage to draw not only competitors, but also crowds of people.
“It’s about the people who are involved in it—a great group of people,” adds Sache. “It’s great to be at matches and it’s a great challenge (when in a match).”
But what exactly is a plowing competition? Exactly how it sounds, says Sache.
“You’re given a plot of land to plow in some way in a certain amount of time,” explained the 2017 Canadian nationals plowing champion.
“You’re then judged on the quality of plowing, the straightness, furrows, weeds covered. There’s quite a list of things the judges are looking for.” But it all has to do with achieving the perfect field for a crop: better weed control, and a field that is more level and smoother when you’re finished.
“We (compete) because we love it,” said Sache. “We aren’t plowing for money; it’s for the boasting rights. It’s a hobby that we do because we love it.”
The Rosedale Harvest Festival starts with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by the parade at 10, and the plow match after that. There will also be a kids fun zone, mechanical bull riding, antique cars and farm equipment, and hot food stands with coffee.