Huron County Plowing Match set for August 17-18

95th annual event to be hosted by Pete and Leisa Albers in Huron East

HURON EAST – This year’s Huron County Plowing Match has been anticipated by hosts Pete and Leisa Albers for years.

The Albers were scheduled to host the plowing match in 2020, “but COVID squashed that,” says Leisa.

The Albers operate a poultry and cash crop operation, which Pete took over from his parents Pete and Helen in 2002.

With wheat back in the fields at the Albers’ farm at 42894 Browntown Road, the Huron County Plowmen’s Association approached the family about hosting the 95th annual match this year, alongside co-host Glen McNeil, warden of Huron County.

“It was a pretty quick ‘yes,’” said Leisa.

The event will be held Thursday, Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 18.

This will be the first time that Pete and Leisa have hosted the event. Pete’s sister, Anne Marie, and husband Paul Fear hosted the event in 2016.

“That was kind of our first taste of it,” said Leisa. “Then our son, Peter, joined the Huron County Sodbusters Club, so we attended a few (matches) and that led up to us agreeing to host the 2020 match.”

The Albers hope to grow on the success of the 2022 match, held at the farm of Brian and Annette McKenzie near St. Helens. Last year’s event saw 40 plowmen, nine contestants in the Queen of the Furrow and five contestants in the Princess of the Furrow competitions, along with great crowds.

Leisa said organizers are expecting about 200 people each day, with 300 expected for the banquet on Friday.

The Albers are looking forward to the entire event, with Leisa stating she is particularly excited for the junior competition on Thursday, where Peter will compete.

“That’s going to be exciting for us,” she said. “I’m just looking forward to it, and taking it all in.”

The Brussels Leo Club and Brussels Optimist Club will be serving lunch and breakfast during the two-day event.

“They are two service groups that do a lot in our community; that’s why we were really keen to have them come on board and help us out,” said Leisa.

When asked why events like the plowing match are important for the community and agriculture, Leisa said it’s a great way to learn about where our food comes from.

“We’re in a rural community – Huron County is heavily involved in agriculture – and so for those that aren’t interested, it’s a great day to come out,” she said. “You can meet fellow farmers, fellow plowers. There’s going to be equipment on display; you can see the kind of equipment farmers use. You can watch the tillage demonstration to better understand kind of how farmers take care of the land and how they work with the land to grow our food.

“It’s a really good day to just come out and be part of the community.”

Schedule of events

All of the events are on site at 42894 Browntown Road, with admission to the grounds by donation.

Junior Day takes place on Thursday, Aug. 17. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by the Brussels Leo Club, with the junior plowing competition beginning at noon. The Princess of the Furrow competition is also on the docket for Thursday, with speeches beginning at 1 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 18 gets underway bright and early, with the Brussels Optimist Club serving breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. Registration for the plowing competition begins at 8 a.m., with the plowing getting underway at 9 a.m. The Brussels Leo Club will be serving lunch again from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a soil and tillage crop demonstration on behalf of the Huron Soil and Crop Improvement Association will be held between 2-4 p.m.

The Queen of the Furrow competition is also scheduled for Friday, with speeches getting underway at 1 p.m.

Finally, the banquet and awards will take place at 5 p.m. The banquet will be catered by Cardiff BBQ Catering Ltd.

Organizers note that banquet tickets must be purchased in advance. To purchase tickets, contact Neil and Joan Vincent at 519-357-2336 or Joan Ryan at 519-237-3806.