World Ploughing Contest Community Meetings Generate Buzz
A very big “Thank You” to everyone who came out for community meetings this past week across the Lake of the Woods region. Folks were talking about the upcoming 2019 World Ploughing Contest. With 32 countries and estimated attendance over three days of 30,000 people set up for August 30, 31 and September 1, there is an appetite for information and lots of good questions.
On Monday night, community members in Roseau came out to learn more about the big event. This event was a joint effort between Explore Roseau and Lake of the Woods Tourism hosted at the City Center. The meeting was set up and hosted by Mary Hoffer of Go Roseau, the tourism organization of our neighbors to the west. The community was very welcoming and we spoke about a myriad of topics including the great opportunity to work together.
Tuesday night, another community meeting was held in the beautiful brand new addition of the local Baudette VFW. With over 70 people attending, again, much information was shared and many questions were asked. With so much info passed along, it is difficult to share it all but here is a small piece of the info shared.
How does the competition work? In a nutshell, there will be two competitors, a coach and world board member representing each of 32 countries plus the World Ploughing Organization staff. Competitors qualify for the event through finishing top in their nation contests.
The ploughers will using a two bottom mouldboard plow. They compete one day on stubble, the next day on grassland. Each crop has a different root system and plows differently. The third day is the US Nationals which will determine which American competitors who will compete in the 2020 World Ploughing Contest in Russia. There will also be the North American Championship the third day as well made up of competitors from the U.S. and Canada going head to head.
Points are earned based on how straight they plow, depth of furrow, consistency of furrow and rows and a myriad of other criteria. The event is timed. Many of the contestants from Europe will be shipping their tractor and plow across the ocean on a container, rail from the east coast to MSP and by truck to Baudette.
Where is the actual contest held? The entire plot of land is located two miles south of Baudette on Hwy 72 and two miles east on Cty 19. The land is owned by the Arnesen family of Arnesen’s Rocky Point. In total, there is 1,000 acres. The actual world contest site is 600 acres.
What else is going on at the contest site? In addition to the ploughing contest, there will be food, drink and live music. The Clay Hess band from Nashville, TN is scheduled to perform. There will also be a vintage tractor and plow display and the Northern MN Drafthorse Association will have demonstrations. Beer garden, great food and fun people from 32 countries with a large contingent from the Midwest U.S. and Canada.
How many people will attend? Nobody knows for sure as this event has never been done in the Lake of the Woods Area. Best estimates based on past events is 30,000 people over the course of three days of the event.
Where will everyone stay? There is a strong resort community in Baudette and around Lake of the Woods. In addition, we are working closely with the communities of Warroad, Roseau, Thief River Falls, Bemidji and International Falls.
What are the biggest needs right now? There are two main initiatives right now, sponsorships and volunteers. There has already been much exposure and the momentum is building. In addition, there will be a very strong contingent of farming and agricultural folks from the Midwest USA and a nice crowd from Canada. Depending upon what a company sells, this will be the right crowd to be in front of.
As a small community, we are seeking individuals and groups to help out. There are many jobs to help out with both before and during the ploughing contest. Consider your family, group of friends, company or organization to help out. This event travels to a different country each year. It will not come back to the U.S. for at least 30 years. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
This is a very special event. The Lake of the Woods area is representing it’s area, the state of MN and the U.S. How would you like to be part of it?