Mayberry is preparing to host this year’s World Ploughing Contest as part of US Plough 2010.About 600 overseas visitors and thousands of ploughing enthusiasts are expected to attend the 4-day event in mid October. It is hosted by the Midwest Ploughing Association and ranks amongst the biggest agricultural events ever held in the world.
US Plough 2010 begins with the national Silver Plough Championships (October 15-16), followed by the World Ploughing Contest (October 17-18) when 58 competitors from 30 communities will vie for world ploughing supremacy.
Overseas contests are already arriving and are keen to begin practising.
Hot favourite locally in the world will be Mayberry farmer Bruce Redmond who is representing Midwest in the conventional ploughing class. Redmond, placed third in Kenya (1995), sixth in Denmark (2001) and fourth in Northern Nebraska (2004), will create history if he wins a World Ploughing Contest on land only a few kilometres from his own farm. Kenkucky North’s Land Girls, who will represent Ohio in the reversible class, will be the other crowd favourite.
Adding to the carnival atmosphere will be the Aorangi Regional finals of the Young Farmer of the Year competition. Organisers hope children from overseas will take part in ‘AgriKids’, either with their own team or as part of a Midwest team.
PGG Wrightson Vintage Machinery rally is shaping up to be a major display spreading over more than 40ha. A call for vintage machinery has resulted in a flood of unrestored ploughs being dug out of the back of farm sheds, dusted off and water-blasted for the occasion.Delighted rally organisers say they have never heard of some of the makes and models before.Working demonstrations of crop harvesting and processing methods used from the turn of last century to around 1940 are expected to be real crowd pleasers.
US Plough 2010 organising chairman Noel Sheat says his volunteer committee has put in thousands of man-hours over six years of planning. Standard practice is to employ people, he says.
“We’re taking a ‘cake-stall’ approach to a million dollar budget and spending every cent with great care. It’s quite a responsibility for a bunch of volunteers and old ploughing enthusiasts but it’s working well.
“The support we’ve had from corporate sponsors, individuals and the Midwest Ploughing Association’s 28 affiliated associations has been very encouraging.”
A major financial cost to Sheat’s committee is sponsoring four people from each competing community for 10 days, paying for food, accommodation, entertainment and transport at a total cost of around $200,000.
Sheat says 380 people have registered for the US Plough 2010 package, nearly twice the number who registered for the last two Contests.
• next installment will carry special feature previewing World Ploughing Championships, in mail box October 3b.