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  Lanark pitches 2003 IPM to follow in Navan's furrow
By Tom VanDusen - AgriNews Staff Writer

Still fresh from the 2001 International Plowing Match and Farm Machinery Show at Navan, Eastern Ontario

residents could plunge right back into another IPM only two years later if the Lanark County Plowmen's

Association gets its way. The Lanark plowmen are planning to bid for the 2003 match which, if approved,

would mark the first time in the long history of the IPM that two editions were held in the east end of the

province so close together. The plan to mount a bid became official Sept. 15 when Lanark County council

gave its blessing, including approving a $100,000 bond as required under rules set by the Ontario Plowmen's

Association (OPA). Meanwhile, organizers of the Navan match are still operating under interim chair Gib

Patterson since Sam Dagg resigned for personal reasons in June. The organization is currently in the

process of selecting a new, permanent chair. Arlene Ross, a member of the selection committee, said five

candidates have come forward. She said one of them will be in place by early October. Patterson is not a

candidate. Navan organizers would probably be the first to tell the Lanark committee that the task of mounting

an IPM is a daunting one. The mammoth undertaking requires a big budget, dozens of committees and

hundreds of volunteers. However, the returns are impressive. Most plowing matches attract upwards of

100,000 spectators, generating direct and indirect financial benefits. With its proximity to the Ottawa market,

the 2001 IPM has set an attendance goal of 350,000. Al Barratt, president of the Lanark plowmen, said the

1994 Renfrew County IPM drew 125,000 visitors and spun off an estimated $30 million into the area. It made

a profit of close to $500,000, Barratt said. In Lanark's favor for 2003 is the fact that, so far, no other county is

competing, Barratt said. Another factor is that, in 2003, a World Plowing Match event will be held at Guelph

and the OPA wouldn't mind putting some distance between the two. The Lanark plowmen have spent the past

several weeks soliciting support from municipalities and organizations throughout the county, and have

already shown a visiting OPA committee around to prospective sites. The preferred site is off Highway 7 east

of Carleton Place. Adjacent dairy farms owned by the Hammond and Craig families which extend along the

Mississippi River almost to Appleton form the balance of the site. Barratt said about 1000 acres is needed

and the Highway 7 farms have no fence rows to impede the match, with hydro and phone service easily

available. The Lanark IPM committee will make its formal pitch to 52 directors of the OPA at their annual

meeting in January.

 
 

 
 


Eastern Ontario AgriNews is published on the third Monday of each month. The printed version is distributed free by postal mail to farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

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