News

International Plowing Match draws big-name Ontario politicians, as usual

Dale Carruthers

By Dale Carruthers, The London Free Press

WALTON - 

Farmers and politicians flocked to this community east of Goderich Tuesday for the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo.

Now in its 100th year, the five-day event is one of the largest of its kind in North America, featuring more than 500 exhibitors showcasing the latest in agriculture technology and innovation.

It’s also long been a must-attend event for provincial politicians. And this year is no different.

The leaders of all four Ontario political parties, including Premier Kathleen Wynne, addressed the crowd at Tuesday’s opening ceremonies.

All the leaders highlighted their commitment to rural Ontario and voiced support for farming families – a demographic that could be key in next year’s provincial election.

"My suggestion for next year's plowing match is more farmers, less politicians," Conservative MP Ben Lobb, whose Huron-Bruce riding encompasses Walton, told the crowd to laughter.

For the first time in event's century-long history, a woman, Jacquie Bishop, is chairing the International Plowing Match. The event closes on Saturday.

Dcarruthers@postmedia.com