METCALFE -- While it seems unlikely at first, the site chosen for the 2016 Canadian Plowing Championship is a rural Ottawa golf course.
Golfing and plowing don't necessarily complement each other.
The site is Anderson Links, one of three courses owned by Gib Patterson, the two others located at Manotick and Winchester. Anderson is the closest course to Patterson's home and boasts his most imposing clubhouse.
The choice seems unlikely until one remembers that Patterson is a farmer first, a supporter of all causes agricultural, a long-time member of the Ontario Plowmen's Association and a sponsor of the Canadian Plowing Organization which is behind the 2016 championships Aug. 24-27.
More specifically, Patterson, co-chair Allen Hills, and their committee are pulling together the event. They've worked hard for several months, lining up sponsors, advertisers, and general supporters. The hosting budget has been set at $30,000-$40,000.
With lots of land at his disposal, Patterson has promised to keep plowmen well away from errant golf balls and golfers out of the path of the plowmen.
So that no one ends up disappointed, organizers are quick to point out that the championships are nothing like the annual rotating International Plowing Match which is more familiar to most.
The big difference is that there's no "tented city" chock-a-block with demonstrations, displays and entertainment at the CPC. There's a much more modest exhibit section where, for example, Vintage Iron & Traditions of Eastern Ontario will show heritage plows.
The CPC is mainly about the plowing. While at the IPM plowing is still featured prominently, it has become somewhat of a sideline to many tented city fans.
Hosted by the Ottawa Carleton Plowmen's Association, CPC competitors, directors and officials arrive in Ottawa Aug. 21, with Aug. 22 and 23 reserved for briefings, meetings and practice. The organization's annual meeting and a wine and cheese reception are on the 23rd.
The official opening is set for 10 a.m., Aug. 24, followed by media and VIP plowing, more practice for the "real" plowmen, and a pig roast at 6 p.m.
Competitive plowing will be held Aug. 25-27, with winners of senior classes to represent Canada in the 2017 World Ploughing Competition in Kenya. Classes include senior conventional, senior reversible, and junior conventional.
In addition to displays, there are silent and live auctions, an awards banquet, and Ottawa Carleton will stage local competitions.
The Canadian Plowing Organization was founded in 1955, three years after the world organization. However, Canada was strongly involved in creation of the parent organization.
The CPO has as goals to preserve the art and skill of match plowing in this country by advancing and teaching the skills involved. Other goals are to promote safe and efficient use of farm machinery and encouraging improved farm productivity and yield efficiency through proper seedbed preparation and soil management.
Part of the mandate is to promote interest in plowing and productivity among governments, industry, and the general public, and to utilize the plow to "symbolize peace and goodwill throughout Canada and the world."